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12 Dead After Crash Of Tourist Bus Headed For Mayan Ruins In Mexico

Police and paramedics at the scene of a tourist bus crash in eastern Mexico Tuesday. Most of the passengers on board were had arrived aboard cruise ships and were going to view Mayan ruins.

A tour bus destined for Mayan ruins in eastern Mexico flipped over on a two-lane highway early Tuesday, leaving a dozen people dead and many more injured. Among them are some Americans.

In a statement from government officials in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, where the accident occurred, report there were 12 passengers killed including one girl under 18, and 18 were injured. There were 31 passengers traveling on the bus.

The statement offered no information about what caused the crash.

A U.S. Embassy spokesman in Mexico City said officials were en route to the scene of the accident, about 100 miles from Tulum. But he could not confirm the number of Americans involved in the deadly incident. The official added that those in need of medical attention had been transferred to several nearby hospitals.

The embassy expected to "have eyes on the ground before the end of the day," according to the spokesman.

Embassy officials issued a statement expressing condolences "to all those affected by this tragedy."

It said, "We are in contact with local authorities and are working with them to determine if there were U.S. citizens on board. We will continue to monitor the situation."

Nearly all the passengers aboard the bus were also passengers on two Royal Caribbean cruises — the Celebrity Equinox and Serenade of the Seas — which set off from Miami. The cruise ship company contracted the local tour bus that was headed out on a day-long adventure to ancient Mayan ruins in Chacchoben.

Royal Caribbean's corporate offices expressed their sadness over Twitter calling the loss of life "heartbreaking" and assured readers the company was assisting with medical care and transportation.

The company also said it had little information about the details of the accident. "Our 27 guests were on a bus tour to the Chacchoben Ruins. We are working with the local authorities to learn more about the accident. We are doing all we can to help our guests."

Photos and video taken in the aftermath of the accident show the bus on its side, pushed up against a thick brush of trees. Beach towels and bottles of water are strewn across the road.

Costa Maya Mahahual, the bus company involved, told the AP in a statement that in addition to the tourists, a guide and driver were also aboard the bus.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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