Dozens of French tourists hurt in Cuba road accident

2nd December 2014, Comments 0 comments

Forty-one French tourists and two locals were injured in Cuba when their bus hit another vehicle and overturned, media reports and diplomatic sources said Tuesday.

The accident occurred Monday afternoon as the tour bus was returning to Varadero from an outing in Santa Clara to visit a monument to Argentine-Cuban guerrilla fighter Che Guevara.

Cuban television said the bus slid several meters after rolling over, and that its occupants were rescued by locals who used a crane to lift it.

Seven of the French nationals were in serious condition after the accident, said an official at the French Embassy.

"All the passengers and the driver were injured to a greater or lesser extent, but only seven of them are in a condition deemed serious or grave," the official said.

In addition to the tourists, the Cuban driver and tour guide were also hurt, said the news agency Prensa Latina.

All 43 were taken to a hospital in Cienfuegos, 250 kilometers (160 miles) southeast of Havana, the diplomat said.

Three of the seriously injured were later airlifted for treatment to the French territory of Martinique, a French embassy official told AFP. Twenty-four lightly injured passengers were expected to leave hospital later Tuesday, the official added.

The Cuban interior ministry has opened an investigation into the accident.

The accident came during the busy season for Cuban tourism, in which thousands of visitors from Europe, Canada and Latin America flock to the island.

More than 500 people have been killed in road accidents in Cuba during the first nine months of this year, according to an official count.

© 2014 AFP

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