Cuban authorities blame driver for deadly bus accident

CUBA ACCIDENT | 12 de enero de 2019

Cuban officials hold a press conference in Havana on Friday, Jan. 11, to discuss the investigation into a deadly bus crash. EFE-EPA/Ernesto Mastrascusa

Havana, Jan 11 (EFE).- The Cuban government said Friday that the bus driver was at fault for an accident in the southeastern province of Guantanamo that left seven people dead and 33 others injured.

"We have determined the direct responsibility of the driver for this regrettable event," the interior ministry said in a statement.

Three Cubans, two Argentines, a German and a French national were killed late Thursday when the tourist bus flipped over on a notoriously dangerous stretch of road between the cities of Baracoa and Guantanamo.

The highway was wet and slippery and the bus driver lost control of the vehicle on a curve, transportation ministry officials told a press conference in Havana.

The 33 injured people include 21 travelers from Spain, Argentina, the United States, France, the Netherlands, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

Five of the injured are in critical condition, while a 3-year-old Spanish boy is listed as stable.

The bus was on its way to Havana from Baracoa with 40 passengers at the time of the accident, the second major transportation incident in eastern Cuba in less than a week.

A dozen people were hurt on Jan. 8 when a bus collided with a passenger train in the province of Granma.

Traffic accidents are the fifth-leading cause of death in Cuba, killing an average of one person every 12 hours in 2018 and more than 4,400 in all since 2012.

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