TEHRAN – Forty-four people were killed and 39 injured in Iran when two passenger buses collided on Monday night on the Tehran-Qom highway and caught fire.
About 11 p.m. (18:30 GMT) on Monday, the front tire of a Scania bus carrying passengers from Isfahan to Tehran burst near the city of Qom and the bus crossed a guardrail and swerved into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with a second Scania bus carrying passengers from Tehran to Yazd, Traffic Police Chief Eskandar Momeni told ISNA on Tuesday.
The two buses caught fire after the collision, he added.
Momeni also blamed the poor quality of the Scania buses, which are made by an Iranian company under license, for the accident.
Iranian Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani also issued a message on Tuesday offering his condolences over the tragic accident.
He also requested the Interior Ministry and the National Police to thoroughly investigate the incident.
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 and disabled annually in the country of 75 million, according to Reuters.
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