12 Cruise Ship Passengers Killed in Yucatan Motorcoach Crash

An ambulance sits parked next to an overturned bus in Mahahual, Quintana Roo state, Mexico.
An ambulance sits parked next to an overturned bus in Mahahual, Quintana Roo state, Mexico. // Photo by Novedades de Quintana Roo via AP, Newscred

A tragic motorcoach accident in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Tuesday killed 12 cruise ship passengers and injured another 18, including one child, according to the Public Security of Quintana Roo.

The coach overturned while traveling from the coastal village of Mahahual to the Mayan ruins at Chacchoben.

Those killed or injured were among 31 people onboard the coach from the United States, Italy, Brazil and Sweden, and among 23 who were passengers from Royal Caribbean International's Serenade of the Seas and four who were from Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Equinox. The shore excursion originated in Costa Maya, a popular Yucatan cruise port of call.

In a statement provided to Travel Agent, Royal Caribbean said: "Our hearts go out to all those involved in the bus accident in Costa Maya. We are doing all we can to care for our guests, including assisting with medical care and transportation." The cruise lines are also working with local authorities to learn more about the accident. 

Both ships have since left Costa Maya and are continuing with their normal itineraries. Serenade of the Seas is on a seven-night Caribbean cruise that departed Port Everglades, FL, on Friday, December 15, with calls to Key West, FL; Roatan, Honduras; and Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico.

Celebrity Equinox is on a seven-night Caribbean cruise that departed PortMiami on Saturday, December 16, with calls at Key West, Costa Maya, Cozumel and Georgetown, Grand Cayman.

Chacchoben is about 110 miles south of Tulum, another popular tourism site. Those injured were taken to hospitals in Bacalar and Chetumal, and some were later released.

United States government representatives based in Mexico were headed to the scene Tuesday to try to assist any U.S. citizens involved, according to Heather Nauert, a U.S. State Department spokesperson.

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