Transport in Cuba
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Dozens of French tourists hurt in Cuba road accident

Dozens of French tourists hurt in Cuba road accident
AFP

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.
Passenger Joelle Codron told France Info radio she was asleep when the
collision occurred.
“In an instant, we awoke in a full spin. Then a thump, an explosion of
glass. And everyone was awake, and everyone was screaming,” she said.
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.
Romain Bail, mayor of the French town of Ouistreham — the home base of
the travel association that organized the trip — said two of the
injured underwent amputations and a third suffered serious facial burns.
All 43 were taken to a hospital in Cienfuegos, 250 kilometers (160
miles) southeast of Havana, the diplomat said.
“Apparently it was a truck that caused the accident,” Bruno Menu, an
official with the R-Evolution Voyages travel agency in Havana that
arranged the trip, told AFP.
Menu said the truck was at a virtual standstill in the fast lane of the
highway when the busload of tourists came upon it.
The bus driver hit the brakes, but his vehicle ran into the truck and
overturned, Menu said.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls issued a statement expressing support
for the injured tourists, and said the government was doing everything
in its power to assure their return home to France.
Radio Ciudad de la Mar, a local station, said the bus driver was
traveling at an excessive speed.
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.
Tourism is one of Cuba’s main sources of revenue. The government has
forecast it will receive around three million visitors this year.
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.

Source: Dozens of French tourists hurt in Cuba road accident – Yahoo
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