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36 Killed in Iranian Road Accident

November 9, 2003

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) _ A crowded bus collided with a truck and a second truck then smashed into the wreckage of the two vehicles, killing 36 people and wounding 7 others in central Iran, state-run radio reported Sunday.

A police official said the accident took place on a stretch of road about 74 miles east of the central Iranian city of Yazd.

The official, identified only as Col. Khareq, said after the bus and truck collided, a second truck smashed into the wreckage, killing some of the people injured in the first crash.

The radio initially reported 33 fatalities and 10 injured. Later Sunday it said three of the injured had died.

It was not immediately clear how many of the fatalities died in each accident.

Khareq blamed the initial accident on the bus driver for crossing into the path of the oncoming truck.

Iran has one of the world’s highest road accident rates, with more than 200,000 crashes reported annually. Accidents killed more than 21,000 people in 2002, the Transportation Ministry said.

The high toll is blamed on unsafe vehicles, disregard for regulations and inadequate emergency services.

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