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Sunday, May 7, 2017
Driver, 32 schoolchildren and two teachers killed after vehicle hits roadside ravine in northern tourist region of Arusha
People gather at the scene of a bus crash on the Arusha-Karatu highway in Tanzania. Photograph: Stringer/Reuters
Reuters in Dar es Salaam-Saturday 6 May 2017
A school bus has crashed in Tanzania killing 32 schoolchildren, two teachers and the driver after it plunged into a roadside ravine in the northern tourist region of Arusha, a senior police official has said.
“The accident happened when the bus was descending on a steep hill in rainy conditions,” regional commander Charles Mkumbo said. “We are still investigating the incident to determine if it was caused by a mechanical defect or human error on the part of the driver.”
The pupils killed in the accident, which occurred at about 9.30am in Karatu district, were aged 12 to 13, and from the Lucky Vincent primary school on their way to visit another school, Mkumbo said.
Tanzania’s president, John Magufuli, described the accident as a national tragedy in a statement.
Tanzania, the second-largest economy in east Africa, has a poor road safety network but buses remain the main form of public transport between towns.
More than 11,000 people were killed in road accidents in Tanzania between 2014 and 2016, according to government data.