By Caribbean News Now contributor
NASSAU, Bahamas — A Carnival Cruise tour bus transporting 32 passengers on a shore excursion crashed in the Bahamas Monday, sending five people to the hospital, four with severe injuries, authorities announced.
According to the Coast Guard, three of the injured are US citizens. One was flown to Nassau’s Doctors Hospital, aboard a Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter, while the others were transported to Broward Health in Fort Lauderdale on an Air Force C-130.
A Coast Guard representative stated that of the five people who are hospitalized, four had to be medevacked due to their injuries being critical. The fifth was said to be a relative who arrived in Fort Lauderdale with the other patients and was “subsequently admitted to the hospital.”
The accident occurred when a bus crashed and flipped over near Rock Sound, Eleuthera, which is approximately 20 minutes north of Princess Cays. No other vehicles were involved. All passengers on board were said to have been visitors from the Carnival Ecstasy. The ship is currently on a five-day cruise after sailing out of Jacksonville, Florida, on June 22.
It’s not apparent what caused the rollover.
Carnival said in a statement that the circumstances of the crash are being investigated. In the meantime, the Rock Sound Island, Cathedral Cove and Ocean Hole tour, along with all excursions by this tour company have been suspended.
Carnival agents said, “all guests on the bus were seen at a local medical clinic and 28 were cleared to return to the ship. Carnival’s CareTeam is providing support to the guests.”
An “urgent call for blood donations,” was put out by the Bahamas Hospitals Authority when it initiated its mass casualty incident protocol.
The authority said in a press release, “Donations may be made at the Princess Margaret Blood Bank and Doctors Hospital Blood Bank.”
A Carnival representative said Carnival Ecstasy departed Princess Cays “as planned” Monday night and is anticipated to “complete its published itinerary as planned.”