Two British women injured in Cuban bus crash

All
16 tourists on board taken to hospital after coach overturned on popular
holiday route

A bus crash in Cuba has left two female British tourists in hospital, one of whom is reported to still be in intensive care.

The women were among 16 foreign nationals injured when their coach, operated by the state’s tourism department, overturned on a highway near Cienfuegos in the south of the island.

All nineteen people on board at the time were taken to hospital in the early hours of Friday morning. As well as the British women, the bus was carrying Irish, Czech, Dutch, Filipino and Russian travellers, a Cuban driver and two guides.

State media reported that three of the tourists needed surgery, two because of impacts to the chest and one for a fractured skull. Four more required treatment on collarbone injuries, while the rest escaped relatively unharmed.

Local newspaper Cinco de Septiembre said three women were still in hospital on Saturday, with the BBC reporting that this included one of the Britons in intensive care.

Dr. Carlos Mendoza, director of the Gustavo Aldereguia University Hospital where they were treated, told reporters that none of those involved in the accident were in a life-threatening condition.

Cuba is currently at the height of its tourism season, and the bus was travelling between Trinidad and Varadero, two of the country’s most popular destinations. 

The UK Foreign Office issued a statement saying they were aware of the crash, adding: “Our embassy in Havana is in close contact with local authorities. Consular officials are on their way to the area to provide assistance if needed.”

As an official investigation was launched into what caused the bus to overturn, state news agency ACN reported statistics showing that 21 people had been killed this year in road traffic accidents in the Cienfuegos province alone.

On 27 June the US Government issued a warning to its citizens about Cuban traffic safety. It said unconfirmed reports indicate that motor vehicle crashes are now the leading cause of accidental death in the country.

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