Iran: The Fall of a Bus Into a Valley, 40 Dead and Injured
NCRI - Iran regime official: “more than 40 percent of the country’s roads are in poor conditions”
September 12, 2017. Following the fall of a bus to a valley, 11 passengers died and 29 were injured. Tehran Fire Department states that the incident occurred at 2:30 am. The bus was carrying passengers from the city of Karaj west of the capital Tehran, to Northern city of Sari.
The Head of Public Relations at Tehran Emergency Center, Hassan Abbasi reported that there were 40 passengers on the bus.
The Spokesman for Tehran Fire Department, Jalal Maleki stated that the bus fell into a valley with the depth of 100 meters.
It is noteworthy that earlier in September, A bus crash killed 12 people in Iran, 11 schoolgirls and their bus driver, who were travelling to the southern city of Shiraz for a sporting and cultural event, state media reported.Thirty other people were injured, and 13 of them were in serious condition, according to state television.
Based on the statistics presented by Iran's Forensics Department, the number of road accidents increased by 9.5% during the first four months of the current year in comparison to the last year.
The figures show that over 219 thousand people died in road accidents between 2005 and 2014 in Iran. Moreover, the state-run ISNA News reported that 18 thousand people died in road accidents in 2015 and this figure is equal to the crash of 60 airplanes with 300 passengers.
In addition to road fatalities, traffic injuries could also bring about heavy social, cultural, and economic damages.
“Road traffic accidents are the third cause of death in the country so that one Iranian dies every 33 minutes due to such accidents”, says Iraj Harirchi, regime’s Deputy Healthcare Minister.
Acknowledging Iran’s poor ranking with regard to traffic safety records, Harirchi added “the number of wounded in the country’s road accidents is 20 times higher than the number of deaths.”
According to state media, Iran is ranked eight regarding the traffic-related casualties, with only six African countries and one Asian one being in worse conditions.
“You’ll find few Iranians who have not lost a first or second degree relative in road accidents”, writes state-run Shahrvand newspaper on April 13, 2015.
According to state-run Alef website, Iran’s poor traffic safety record has caused the World Bank to refer in its review to Iran’s road traffic accidents, describing it as critical. (State-run Alef website, July 6, 2015)
Unsafe roads and low quality vehicles are the main reasons behind Iran’s increased road accident fatalities.
Pointing to Iran’s lack of road maintenance and investment on improving road safety, Rouhani’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development ‘Abbas Akhundi’ says “very little investment has been made over the past ten years over road maintenance. That’s why more than 40 percent of the country’s roads are in poor conditions, while billions of dollars is needed to resurface all asphalt roads.”
With necessary measures disregarded during road construction, many of the country’s roads are non-standard, lacking enough capacity to meet high traffic density.
With the country’s major road construction companies belonging to regime officials, the only thing they care about is plundering national wealth and making more profits, while road quality is none of their concerns. So, many of the country’s roads are so poorly built that they totally wear out within two years after construction, thereby leading to road accidents.
Meanwhile, the country’s rural roads have much more problems compared to urban ones. Most rural side roads need leveling and sanding while the main rural roads need to be repaired and asphalted.
The conditions of rural roads in many parts of the country are so poor that it would be impossible to access them in such adverse weather conditions like heavy rain, storm, strong wind, or fog. As a result, these areas are disconnected in different seasons from main roads and big cities, leaving drivers passing through them totally stranded.
In the northern province of Gilan, for instance, with higher living standards compared to other provinces, the conditions of rural roads are so bad that regime’s chief of police in Gilan is forced to acknowledge that “non-standard roads is one of the problems in province’s rural areas.” (State-run IRNA news agency, July 16, 2017)
A big problem on roads is lack of adequate lighting. In addition to that, shortage or lack of road signs and non-luminosity of many of them, non-existing or faulty guardrails, using guardrails that lack absorption and deflection capability, lack of equipment that separates opposing flows of traffic, damaged asphalts, and flooded routes, are also among the problems that have made country’s roads unsafe. Nonetheless, the regime has done nothing regarding constructing new roads or improving the old ones, widening narrow roads, or installing proper signs on country’s roads and routes.