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Twelve cruise tourists killed in Chile bus crash

Written by: Staff

SANTIAGO, Chile, Mar 23 (Reuters) At least 12 foreigners, most of them believed to be Americans, died when a bus fell off a steep cliff in northern Chile, Cooperativa radio station reported.

Celebrity Cruises said in a news release from Miami that the dead and injured were from its Millennium cruise ship, which was docked in Arica, a port city in northern Chile. The company did not confirm the number of casualties.

Celebrity Cruises, a unit of Royal Caribbean Cruises, the world's second largest cruise group, said the small bus involved in the accident was operated by a private tour company not affiliated with the cruise line.

At least four other tourists were injured in the accident, which happened at about 4:30 pm (2030 GMT) yesterday near the Chile-Bolivia border on an excursion to a national park, Cooperativa said.

''It's a very dangerous slope, a driver without experience would have an accident if he did not come down very carefully... It's very steep,'' Rafael Caro, manager of a tour company associated with the cruise, told Cooperativa.

Reuters DH VP0707

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