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Mountaineers’ Minibus Plunges Into Ravine, Killing 10 in Iran

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A minibus carrying mountaineers in Iran plunged into a ravine, killing 10 people, state media reported Saturday. 

The accident occurred Friday near the city of Varzaghan, in East Azerbaijan province, said the provincial emergency services spokesperson, Vahid Shadinia, according to state news agency IRNA. Varzaghan is 669 kilometers (416 miles) northwest of the Iranian capital, Tehran. 

The minibus was heading toward a tourist village in the mountainous region when it overturned for an undetermined reason and fell into the ravine, said the official. Details about the steepness of the terrain or how difficult it was to reach the victims were not provided to reporters.  

“Ten people including the driver were killed and eight were injured,” Shadinia said, adding that, “If the seat belts had been buckled, the number of victims would have been lower.” 

Although its roads are generally in good condition, Iran has one of the world’s highest traffic death rates partly because of poor driving habits, as well as the impact of international sanctions on vehicle maintenance.

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