44 killed in collision of two buses in Iran

44 killed in collision of two buses in Iran

TEHRAN - Reuters
Forty-four people were killed and 39 injured in Iran when two passenger buses collided outside the capital Tehran and caught fire, Iranian media reported today.

A bus carrying passengers from Isfahan to Tehran suffered a punctured tire on Sept. 9, crossed a guardrail and swerved into oncoming traffic, where it hit a second bus travelling from Tehran to Yazd, highway police chief Mohammad Reza Mehmandar told the Mehr news agency.

“The driver of a bus travelling from Isfahan lost control of his vehicle after one of his tyres burst. He hit a car before finding himself in the oncoming lane, where he hit another bus. The two vehicles caught fire immediately,” said Colonel Ardeshir Jamshidi-rad, the head of traffic police in the province of Qom.

Both buses erupted in flames after the collision, he said.

Iran’s roads were among the most dangerous in the world a few years ago. In the 1990s, there were around 28,000 deaths per year for the country’s four million cars.

Statistics compiled by UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) show that road accidents occur in Iran at a rate 20 times higher than the world average, with nearly 28,000 people killed and 300,000 people injured.