By Syed Zafar Mehdi
TEHRAN, Iran (AA) – At least 10 people died in a deadly accident on Ahvaz-Khorramshahr highway in Iran's southwestern Khuzestan province on Saturday.
The incident took place when multiple heavy and light vehicles collided with each other, according to local authorities.
Reza Dolatshahi, the provincial traffic police chief, told state TV that the accident was reported at around 7 a.m. local time when a chain of five vehicles, including a minibus carrying workers of a local oil firm, a truck loaded with livestock and three light vehicles collided.
Among those killed are workers of the Yadavaran oil field, one of the largest oilfields in the country located near Iran's border with Iraq, 60 km south-west of Ahvaz city.
Dolatshahi said the cause of the accident, which also injured more than a dozen people, is being investigated.
The highway between Ahvaz and Khorramshahr is prone to deadly mishaps, with many such tragic incidents reported over the years.
Morteza Azhand, a journalist based in Khuzestan, said the roads in Khuzestan province are the "silent killers" of people who mourn death of their families "every morning."
According to Dolatshahi, a total of 442 people had lost their lives in road accidents in the province in first eight months of this year.
He said the fatalities on Ahvaz-Khorramshahr highway had surged by 300 percent this year, blaming it mainly on lack of safety precautions, narrow roads, two-way traffic and lack of guardrails.