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University Bus Accident Controversy Heats Up

A bus transporting university students in Iran crashed, leaving 10 people dead on December 25, 2018.
A bus transporting university students in Iran crashed, leaving 10 people dead on December 25, 2018.

Tehran's city councilor in charge of safety affairs has blamed privatization and politicizing matters for a university bus crash that killed ten, including the driver, leaving 25 other students injured.

The bus was carrying 30 students along a mountainous road within the science research campus of Islamic Azad University in northwestern Tehran when it came off the road and hit a concrete post on Tuesday.

As the campus was walled and out of the domain of safety authorities according to Tehran councilor Shahrbanoo Amanipour, “the officials of Azad University used just a ramshackle bus for transporting the students," has lamented, adding, "God only knows which second or third contractor had been in charge of managing students' transportation."

According to Ms. Amanipour report, the bus involved in the tragedy was previously used on a busy rout and it was taken out of service six years ago.

Blasting the Azad University managers for deadly negligence, Amanipour has asserted that they are politicizing the issue by blaming the privatization of the transportation company.

Meanwhile, the head of Islamic Republic’s Judiciary Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani on Wednesday, December 26, called on the prosecutor general to supervise an immediate investigation into the case of the bus crash.

Journalist Mahmoud Sadri tweeted that the university's use of a "ramshackle bus in a mountainous region" amounted to "manslaughter".

In the meantime, scores of users of the social media have bitterly complained that the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared a day of national mourning for one of his personal religious instructors, the chairman of the influential Expediency Discernment Council, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi who died on December 24 at age 70, but sufficed to offer his condolences over the "tragic accident" in a statement on Tuesday.

Iran was the world's seventh deadliest country for drivers per capita, according to the World Health Organization's latest figures from 2013, and the only non-African country apart from Thailand in the top 10.

Iranian authorities say over 16,000 died on the road during the last Iranian year (March 21, 2017-March 20, 2018).