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Ten American Tourists Injured in Bus Accident in Tortola

March 1, 1989

ROAD TOWN, Tortola (AP) _ Ten American tourists were injured Tuesday when the brakes on their bus failed, causing the vehicle to ram another bus and turn over repeatedly.

The tourists, all passengers on the cruise ship MS Noordam, suffered injuries ranging from cuts to broken arms, said Dr. Orlando Smith, the chief medical official in the British Virgin Islands.

Smith declined to identify the most seriously injured passenger. He said the woman and two others were to be flown to Puerto Rico for treatment.

The bus was one of five taking passengers from the Noordam, docked in Road Town, to a popular beach on Cane Garden Bay about 10 miles northwest.

Wilfred Smith, driver of the bus, said that on a steep hill on Tortola’s main road he noticed a warning light flashing on the dashboard and stepped on the brakes, which had failed.

Smith said the bus began to pick up speech and he sounded the horn to warn the two buses in front, but to no avail. His bus crashed into the rear of one bus, pushing it off the road, and began rolling over.

Mrs. Jean Rosato, of Danbury, Conn., who suffered cuts and lacerations, told The Associated Press that the bus rolled over at least six times after it struck the other bus.

None of the passengers in the other bus was injured, authorities said.

Tuesday’s accident was the second in as many days involving tourists.

Twenty-two Canadian and American tourists had to jump into the sea Monday when their boat caught fire on the way back to Virgin Gorda, about 30 miles west of Tortola, after an outing in Beef Island. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

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