Officials in Iran say that at least 26 high school students were killed Saturday when a passenger bus overturned in the southwest part of the country.
Senior police official Colonel Mohammad Reza Mehmandar told reporters that the bus, carrying a large group of female students from the town of Borujen, flipped on the Izeh-Lordegan road, about 435 miles southwest of the capital Tehran.
“Travelling at excess speeds on slippery roads was the cause of this accident,” Mehmandar told the Iranian Students’ News Agency.
Mehmandar said 18 others were injured in the accident. They were rushed to hospitals for treatment.
According to statistics from Unicef, the United Nations Children’s Fund, traffic accidents kill nearly 28,000 people and injure or disable 300,000 people a year in Iran, a country of 75 million people.
Road accidents occur at a rate 20 times higher than the world average in Iran, the organization added, noting that the high death tolls are blamed on high speed, unsafe vehicles, widespread disregard of traffic laws and poor emergency services.
The tragic bus crash in Iran comes just days after a bus loaded with a 47 students fell off a cliff in central China leaving at least four people dead and three seriously injured.