(UPDATED: December 7, 5:30 a.m. EST) — Two people were killed and 16 others injured when a tour bus carrying cruise ship passengers crashed December 6 in Tortola.
The accident Sunday involved passengers from Celebrity Summit, which was visiting the port, on an independently operated bus — not on a Celebrity-organized shore excursion. Two passengers were pronounced dead at the scene, while others were transported to nearby Peebles Hospital. Sixteen people suffered injuries, two of which are critical.
“First responders, including the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, Fire and Rescue Department, (and) medical personnel were mobilised, along with members of the BVI Tourist Board, and cruise ship personnel from the Celebrity Summit cruise line, to provide assistance to the visitors involved,” according to a statement from the office of Orlando Smith, Premier of the British Virgin Islands.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., parent company of Celebrity Cruises, said on its Twitter account that Summit’s captain was at the hospital visiting injured passengers.
Celebrity Cruises released the following statement: “We are saddened to report the deaths of two Celebrity Summit guests after a local bus accident late this morning in Tortola.
“Our ship’s captain and others have gone to the hospital in order to help respond to this terrible incident, and our response is being coordinated with local officials and our Miami headquarters.
“Local officials tell us that there were 20 passengers on the bus, 16 of whom suffered injuries. In addition to the two fatalities, officials have told us there were also two critical injuries. Several of the injured guests have been treated and released, and will rejoin the ship shortly.
“The bus was independently operated, and not part of any Celebrity-sponsored shore excursion. We will refer questions about the accident and its investigation to local authorities.
“We are working to assist our guests with medical care and transportation, and have assigned personnel locally and at our Miami headquarters to stay in close touch with those involved.
“Celebrity Summit may be slightly delayed in its departure from Tortola this evening. We do not expect an impact on our itinerary beyond the delayed departure.”
The Tortola stop was the first on a seven-night cruise that left Saturday from San Juan.