At approximately 10:30 am on Monday morning June 24, 2019, Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) officers received a report that a tour bus had overturned on Queen’s Highway, just south of the township of Rock Sound.
On arrival at the scene a short time later, Police confirmed that an ‘Eleuthera Adventure Tours Ltd.’ tour bus, was carrying 32 passengers with 1 driver and 2 staff members at the time of the incident.
The passengers were said to have been visitors to the island who had arrived in at Princess Cays on board the Carnival Cruise lines ship – Ecstasy, on Monday morning.
Local emergency response services, including ambulance, fire, and other volunteer services with a ‘jaws of life’, as well as a team from The Island School, arrived quickly on scene according to eyewitness accounts.
Authorities reported that of the 35 people involved, nearly everyone in the tour bus had sustained some level of injury. They were all transported to the Rock Sound clinic for treatment. Nine (9) visitors, however, were reported to have sustained serious injuries, with two in critical condition.
Arrangements were being made, said authorities, for 5 of the visitors with serious or critical injuries to be airlifted for further treatment.
The Public Hospital Authority (PHA), in a statement released on Monday afternoon, confirmed that five (5) people who had been seriously injured in the road traffic accident in Rock Sound on Monday morning had been airlifted to medical facilities in New Providence and South Florida.
The statement also said, “The Public Hospitals Authority’s Agencies namely the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) and National Emergency Medical Service (NEMS) activated their Mass Casualty Incident Protocol. NEMS assisted with ground transportation and deployed ambulances to the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) to receive the injured. An URGENT call for blood donations has been issued. Donations may be made at the Princess Margaret Hospital Blood Bank and Doctors Hospital Blood Bank.”
Superintendent Frederick Sands, Acting Officer in Charge for the RBPF Eleuthera Division, while at the scene, reported that the cause of the accident had not been confirmed, saying, “We have yet to ascertain the cause of the accident, as we are now awaiting the crime scene investigators to arrive from New Providence, along with traffic division officers to determine exactly what happened in this instance.
“We will now preserve this area, and await the arrival of the team from Nassau, who will conduct a thorough investigation. They are now mobilized, and expected to arrive on island today.”
The Hon. K. Peter Turnquest.
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