A collision between two buses in Iran has killed 44 people and injured 39 others, the ISNA news agency has reported.

The accident took place late on Monday along the highway between Qom and Tehran.

"The driver of a bus travelling from Isfahan lost control of his vehicle after one of his tyres burst. He hit a car before finding himself in the  oncoming lane, where he hit another bus, police official Colonel Ardeshir said.

The two vehicles caught fire immediately," the head of traffic police in the province of Qom added.

Iran's roads were among the most dangerous in the world a few years ago.

In the 1990s, there were around 28,000 deaths per year for the country's four million cars.

During the past two years, however, the number of road deaths has dropped to around 20,000 every year.

Source: Agencies