MEXICO CITY, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- A fatal Mexican bus crash that killed 11 foreign tourists and a Mexican guide is being investigated as a possible case of "culpable homicide," local authorities said on Wednesday.
The tour bus flipped over on Tuesday morning as it was taking 29 cruise ship passengers to Mayan ruins near the Caribbean resort of Mahahual, in the eastern state of Quintana Roo. A total of 31 people were on board, including the guide and driver, who fled the scene and remains missing.
The State Prosecutor General informed that due to the vehicular accident on the Cafetal-Mahahual state highway, it has opened an investigation against whoever may result responsible for the crime of culpable homicide.
"So far, the driver is a fugitive and it's likely he's injured, but we don't know how he left the site of the accident, how he was able to escape or whether anyone helped him," said a statement from the prosecutor's office.
Officials don't yet know what caused the bus to flip over, but say skid marks on the highway show the driver lost control of the vehicle, which swerved off the asphalt and traveled another 100 meters before the driver attempted to regain control but failed, tipping the vehicle onto its side.
The fatal victims included eight U.S. citizens, two Swedes and a Canadian, while among the injured taken to hospital were Americans, Swedes, Canadians and at least one Brazilian.
Several of the injured have been able to return to their cruise ships.
Royal Caribbean said via Twitter on Tuesday that most of the bus passengers were from its cruise ships Celebrity Equinox and Serenade of the Seas, both of which were docked in Mahahual.
The bus was taking the passengers to the nearby Mayan ruins of Chacchoben, located some 70 km inland from the coast.
From January to September of this year, 214 cruise ships sailed into the tourist port of Mahahual, bringing with them some 640,216 passengers, according to Mexico's Tourism Ministry.