Tuesday, May 28, 2013

México: Sixteen Killed on Bus After Tire Blows, 19 Injured, Passengers Should Visually Inspect the Bus

A tourist bus spun out of control after a tire blew out yesterday (May 26) and turned over, killing 16 people in central México and injuring 19 others.

The accident occurred Sunday afternoon as a group of tourists was returning to Mexico City from a weekend trip to the thermal baths in the town of Santa María Amajac. The nationalities of those killed and injured were not released.

COMMENT: According to media reports, the bus flipped over after the driver lost control of the bus. The vehicle was described by witnesses as a 1970 vintage vehicle in poor operating condition. 

The dead included seven men, seven women and two children died.

As I have said so often in the past, it is essential that tourists and travelers learn to be very cautious when selecting bus travel, particularly when it comes to non-essential or discretionary travel. 

Asking a bus driver to turn the engine on will offer some indication of the condition of the vehicle. Passengers should also ensure that there is a secondary escape from the bus, that  fire extinguishers are present and that all tires have reliable tread.

Another important facet is to determine whether the driver is equipped with a mobile phone, although all travelers should carry such a phone at all times that permit them to make both local and international calls with ease. 

All travelers should be mindful of the fact that tour bus accidents are a common occurrence throughout Latin America where safety standards are not a priority.