Eight Americans, including Florida grandmother, confirmed dead in Mexico tour bus crash that killed 12
Eight Americans, two Swedes and a Canadian were killed in a bloody bus crash that also left nearly two dozen people injured in southeastern Mexico on Tuesday, local officials said.
The bus was shuttling 27 cruise ship passengers to the popular Chacchoben ruins when it appears to have swerved off a narrow highway and flipped over around 10 a.m. Tuesday. A local tour guide was also killed in the crash, which remains under investigation.
Another 20 people, including seven Americans and two Swedes, were injured in the crash.
The bus driver survived and has been taken into custody, officials said. It was not immediately clear if a criminal element was involved.
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A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Mexico would only confirm to the Daily News on Wednesday that “multiple U.S. citizens” were among the dead.
“We express our heartfelt condolences to all those affected by this tragedy,” the spokesman said, declining to comment further.
South Florida resident Fanya Shamis was one of the Americans who died in the crash, according to her grandson, Benjamin Shababo.
Shababo also feared the worst for his uncle, aunt and two cousins — who are 11 and 15.
“We’re all scared,” Shababo, 18, told the Florida Sun Sentinel. “It’s just really scary to process this in my head that possibly something really bad happened to them.”
Shababo said his uncle, Moises Behar, had been taken to a local hospital but he had yet to hear anything about his aunt, Anna, and two young cousins, who were all on board the bus as well.
Except for the driver and the tour guide, the crash victims were all passengers on two Royal Caribbean cruise ships, Celebrity Equinox, which left Miami on Saturday, and Serenade of the Seas, which left Fort Lauderdale on Friday. Both ships were on seven-day tours that were supposed to include multiple stops in Mexico and Honduras.
The Miami-based cruise line said its working with local authorities to “learn more about the accident.”
“Our hearts go out to all those involved,” a spokeswoman for the cruise line said. “We are doing all we can to care for our guests.”
Details surrounding the crash remained murky Wednesday.
Texas resident Chris Brawley was on another tour bus headed to the popular Mayan ruins and passed the crash site just minutes after the bus flipped over. Brawley was incredulous as to how the crash could have happened, noting that the road was dry and that he hadn’t seen any sign of any other vehicles being involved.
“The bus clearly lost control somehow as there were swerve marks all over the road surface,” Brawley said.