Update: Injured Celebrity Passengers Return to Miami

February 24, 2009

(6:18 p.m.) Update: Of the 16 injured guests, 14 will arrive at Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital around midnight tonight. The other two were released and have returned to the ship to continue the cruise.

Sixteen Celebrity Summit passengers were injured yesterday during a bus accident in Dominica. The passengers were on a three-and-a-half hour Celebrity Cruises-sponsored excursion, Caribbean Cooking Adventure, which concludes with a scenic drive through Dominica's Roseau. Celebrity has suspended the sale of excursions with this provider while this matter is being investigated.

According to an official statement from the cruise line, the driver of the bus "appears to have lost control and drove into a ditch" on February 23 at approximately 4 p.m. local time.

All 16 guests onboard the bus were transported to the local Princess Margaret Hospital. Five were treated and released from the hospital yesterday. Five staff members from Celebrity Summit, including a nurse, stayed with the 11 guests that remained at the hospital overnight. The injuries sustained include broken bones, bumps, bruises and lacerations; according to the statement, three guests were more seriously injured, though specific details have not yet been provided due to medical privacy concerns.

According to the statement, Celebrity has dispatched additional Guest Care Team personnel and another nurse to Dominica to escort the injured guests and their traveling companions during flights to South Florida today; the guests will be taken to Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital for further assessment and care, before returning home.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with our injured guests and their families,” Dan Hanrahan, Celebrity's president and chief executive officer, is quoted as saying in the statement. "We'll continue to do our very best to assist them in the aftermath of this unfortunate accident."

Celebrity Summit is currently sailing a seven-night Caribbean cruise that departed San Juan on Saturday, February 21; it concludes there on Saturday, February 28.

We'll keep you posted.

--by Melissa Baldwin Paloti, Managing Editor

Comment on this story!