Middle East

15 die after bus overturns in north Iran

Iran's state TV is reporting that 15 people have died after their bus crashed into a high-voltage electricity pylon and overturned in the north of the country.

The Saturday repot says dozens of passengers were injured during the incident. It took place in pre-dawn darkness and caused blackouts in the rural area on the mountainous road linking the northern cities of Karaj and Chalous, some 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Tehran.

Every summer weekend, hundreds of thousands of vacationers travel to recreational areas in northern Iran.

Iran has one of the world's highest traffic accident casualty rates, with some 17,000 deaths per year. The high casualty numbers are mostly blamed on drivers disregarding traffic laws, antiquated vehicles and inadequate emergency services.