The injured were treated at the Gustavo Aldereguía provincial hospital in Cienfuegos, where none of them were reported seriously hurt, but will remain under observation for a few hours waiting to be evaluated by a medical panel to determine their progress, according to the local newspaper 5 de septiembre.
One of the injured was assessed code “red”, because he suffered post-traumatic stress caused by the accident and a heart condition, hospital sources indicated.
The accident occurred in the vicinity of the fishing port, when the bus was returning from its usual route between the psychiatric hospital and Villuendas Park. According to a preliminary ruling, the vehicle was traveling on the wet pavement with excessive speed and skidded, went off the road and, when the driver tried to get back on it, overturned.
According to the account of the bus driver, Ramón Vallejo, on state television, the incident occurred when he was passing through an area where there are a lot of potholes. “Before reaching a curve the bus slid on me, the steering got hard and at that moment I felt the bus starting to twist around,” he said.
The vehicle was taken from the scene of the accident and is currently being examined by police experts investigating the causes of the incident.
Traffic accidents are the fifth leading cause of death in Cuba, where last year there was an accident every 47 minutes, averaging one death every 12 hours.
In the first quarter of this year, the number of mass accidents has soared alarmingly in the country and more than 4,400 deaths have been reported due to this cause since 2012, according to official data.
The problem of the numerous traffic accidents that occur on the island was addressed by President Miguel Díaz-Canel during a meeting with the Council of Ministers last July, in which the president urged all to be concerned about the “significant number of deaths and injuries” caused by these events.
On that occasion, the Minister of Transportation, Adel Yzquierdo, cited “social indiscipline”, inadequate signaling, detiorated roads and the operation of vehicles without current inspections as the main causes of accidents.
In 2017, 11,187 traffic accidents were recorded in the country, leaving a total of 750 dead and 7,999 injured, according to reports from the National Road Safety Commission.
Translated by Wilfredo Díaz Echevarria
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