March 8, 2018 1:27 pm
Updated: March 10, 2018 2:43 am

Canada issues travel warning for Playa del Carmen, Mexico after ferry explosion

WARNING: Video contains disturbing images. Viewer discretion is advised. Security cameras capture moment ferry explodes at Mexico pier


The Canadian government has issued a new travel warning for a tourist hot spot in Mexico over a potential security threat.

The warning came after the U.S. embassy in Mexico issued its own alert advising Americans of a potential security threat in the country’s popular tourist destination area.

WATCH: The federal government has sent out a warning to Canadians visiting or living in Playa del Carmen. Here’s Tracy Nagai with what you need to know before booking your trip.

The alert focuses on Playa del Carmen, located on the country’s east coast near Cancun.

READ MORE: 25 injured in Playa del Carmen ferry explosion, Mexican government says

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“‎The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City received information about a security threat in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico,” reads the security alert. “Effective immediately, U.S. government employees are prohibited from travelling to Playa del Carmen until further notice. The U.S. Consular Agency in Playa del Carmen will be closed until further notice.‎

“Continue to exercise a high degree of caution in Playa del Carmen,” reads the statement.

The alert comes as many Canadians and Americans head south for spring break and just weeks after at least 25 people were injured when an explosion ripped through a ferry in Playa del Carmen.

LISTEN: Rob Breakenridge chats with travel expert Clair Newell about travel advisories and whether travellers should be changing their plans.

One Calgary travel expert said Canadians may have to pay out of pocket if they want to reschedule vacations to the area.

“There wouldn’t really be recourse if you had travel insurance, because it’s not a full-on Canadian travel advisory saying, ‘Do not travel,’ so you’re a bit sunk,” Travel Lady Lesley Keyter said.

WATCH: U.S. bans govt. employees from travel to Mexican beach resort

The Canadian government said Mexican authorities located another explosive device on a ferry also operating out of Playa del Carmen on March 1. The device did not detonate.

“Some cruise lines have cancelled excursions using ferry services in Playa del Carmen,” reads the travel warning. “Avoid tourist ferries travelling in the region until further notice, be vigilant and monitor local media (including social media).”

Mexican authorities say the ferry incidents are under investigation, while local media reported officials are looking at several possible motives, including the possibility that people linked to the ferry company could have bombed the boat to collect an insurance policy.

Candles and condolence messages are seen outside the Blue Parrot nightclub in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, on January 17, 2017. An armed man attacked and left 5 people dead, including 3 foreigners at the nightclub.

Manuel Velasquez/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

As the Canadian government notes, violence as a result of organized crime had increased in 2017, including the areas in and around Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Los Cabos.

READ MORE: Is Playa del Carmen safe? Shootings and deaths mar area’s sunny image

Last week four gunmen burst into a hospital in Cancun and shot to death a drug gang suspect and his wife.

In January 2017, gunmen attacked the state prosecutor’s office in Cancun, killing four people. A day earlier, a shooting at a music festival in Playa del Carmen left three foreigners and two Mexicans dead. Prosecutors have said that shooting was motivated by low-level drug sales.

–with files from the Associated Press and Global’s Tracy Nagai

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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