Celebrity Cruises reported that several passengers on its current Millennium sailing were involved in a bus accident yesterday near Arica, Chile. Twelve Celebrity passengers were killed and two were injured. The bus trip was not a Celebrity-sponsored shore excursion, but a privately booked tour.
According to Dan Hanrahan, president of Celebrity Cruises, the bus swerved to avoid an oncoming truck on a mountain highway, and then ran off the road and fell 300 feet down a mountainside. Celebrity is working with the U.S. Consulate, U.S. Coast Guard, Bahamian authorities, and Chilean authorities to assist the injured travelers, fellow passengers, and family members of the deceased. The Millennium, which was supposed to depart at 7:00 p.m., remained in Chile until 9:00 a.m. this morning. A physician, nurse, and concierge from the ship will remain at the hospital, and a special assistance team from Celebrity headquarters in Miami will join them shortly.
Celebrity is flying family members of the 14 guests involved in the accident to Chile. If you have reason to believe that one of your family members was on this sailing and could have been on the bus, you can call 888-829-4050 for information. The cruise line requests that the general public refrain from using this number so family members can get in touch with Celebrity.
You can find updates concerning the situation on Celebrity’s website. Our thoughts go out to the victims of this tragedy and their families.