HAVANA -- The federal government says no Canadians were among the seven people killed when a bus carrying tourists and local travellers crashed in far eastern Cuba.

State media report that the bus was carrying 18 Cubans and 22 tourists from Holland, Great Britain, France, Mexico and Canada when it crashed Thursday afternoon on a road between the cities of Baracoa and Guantanamo.

The names and nationalities of those killed haven't been released. Five people were also critically injured.

Global Affairs Canada says it is in contact with local authorities and ready to provide consular assistance to any Canadian citizens.

The driver of the bus told Radio Guantanamo that he lost control on the wet and winding road.

Cuban highways are poorly lit, narrow and rutted with huge potholes. There were 750 deaths and 7,999 injuries in 11,187 accidents last year in the country of 11 million. Thursday's wreck was the fourth major bus accident in a month.

Statement from Global Affairs Canada:

"Global Affairs Canada is aware of reports of a bus crash in Cuba involving foreign tourists. Our thoughts are with all those injured and the loved ones of those who died in this tragic crash.

"Cuban authorities have confirmed that no Canadians are among those who died in this bus crash. We are providing consular assistance to Canadians who are affected. Consular officials are also in contact with local authorities and stand ready to provide consular assistance to any Canadian citizens as required.

"Canadian citizens in Cuba requiring emergency consular assistance should contact the Embassy of Canada in Havana at (53-7) 204-2516 or call the department’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre at +1 613 996 8885 (collect calls are accepted where available). An email can also be sent to sos@international.gc.ca."


Posted by Daniel Ross Dieguez on Thursday, January 10, 2019