The passengers, who had departed from South Florida, were heading Tuesday to the ruins at Chacchoben, about 110 miles south of Tulum, when the vehicle crashed on the Mahahual-Cafetal Highway in the southern part of Quintana Roo, according to Mexican authorities.
Quintana Roo state government officials said eight Americans, two Swedes and one Canadian were among the dead, according to the Associated Press.
Carrie Vanrenterghem told CBS News that she and her daughters passed the site as they were returning from the ruins.
“When we went by it, it was pretty horrible,” she said. “The bus, the front windshield was entirely out. Like, some people had fallen through it. . . .
“They were just traveling like we were, for, you know, the holidays. It’s just hard to imagine their lives are gone.”
The State Department confirmed Wednesday that a number of U.S. citizens had been killed and that several others had been injured, although the agency did not specify how many Americans were dead.
“We express our heartfelt condolences to those affected by this tragedy,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Twitter. “We are in contact w/ local authorities, have staff on scene to assist and will continue to monitor situation.”
Officials at the U.S. embassy in Mexico said in a statement Wednesday that they are also in contact with authorities there and “will continue to monitor the situation. We have staff on the scene and at local hospitals to assist victims and loved ones. We are aware of several U.S. citizens injured in the accident. We confirm the death of multiple U.S. citizens in a bus accident in Quintana Roo, Mexico.”
The AP reported that the Swedish Foreign Ministry and Global Affairs Canada confirmed that their citizens were among the dead.
The cause of the incident is under investigation, Mexican authorities said.
The bus was carrying 31 passengers, according to a statement from government officials in Quintana Roo.
Among those killed were a Mexican tour guide, a and a girl younger than 18, according to reports.
Officials said that at least 18 people were injured and taken to hospitals in Bacalar, Chetumal and Tulum.
The majority of the passengers came from two ships belonging to Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises: the Celebrity Equinox and the Serenade of the Seas, which both conduct seven-night Caribbean cruises, the company said in a statement.
About 23 passengers on the bus came from the Celebrity Equinox, which left Saturday from PortMiami, while four came from the Serenade of the Seas, which departed Friday from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
“Our hearts go out to all those involved in the bus accident in Costa Maya,” the company said. “We are doing all we can to care for our guests, including assisting with medical care and transportation.”