11 dead in Iraq minibus crash
Neglect and recklessness took the lives of 11 victims in Iraq today.
Eleven victims, including nine schoolteachers, died in a head-on road crash south of Baghdad after they returned from a Ramadan Iftar, Iraqi authorities said Saturday, blaming the cause of the accident on speed.
According to a police source, the tragedy occurred about midnight in Babylon province while the group was returning in a minibus from the holy city of Karbala.
A statement from road traffic authorities said their car collided with a 4x4 moving in the opposite way "due to high speed and the driver of the second vehicle's lack of attention," injuring two persons.
A police source revealed that the automobiles took fire. Conflict, neglect, and pervasive corruption have left the infrastructure of oil-rich Iraq in disrepair, including highways and bridges. Many roads are riddled with potholes and are completely dark at night.
"The number of traffic accidents doesn't stop rising. It's as if we were at war," said senior road traffic official Tarek Ismail late last month, quoted by state news agency INA.
He blamed a "lack of respect for speed limits", the use of mobile phones, and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
A traffic authority official stated that about 1,000 people died in road accidents in Iraq last year.