Tanzania police say 35 killed as bus with students crashes

Rwandan refugees carry water to their tents, Thursday May 13, 1994 at the Benaco refugee camp in Tanzania, just over the Rwandan border. More than 250,000 Rwandans fleeing the violence in the neighboring Central African nation have set up a City on some 20 square miles of open savannah. (AP Photo/George Mulala)

DODOMA, Tanzania (AP) — At least 35 people were killed, most of them young children, after a bus carrying students lost control and crashed in northern Tanzania, police said Saturday.

The bus had been carrying the students from a primary school in Arusha for an examination, Arusha Region Police Commander Charles Mkumbo said. It skidded off the road near the Mlera river in Meatu district and plunged into a gully.

Officials said the dead included 32 young students, two teachers and a bus driver. They said all of those bodies had been recovered.

Photos posted on local media showed one end of the bus crushed. Children’s bodies were laid out along the paved road after being pulled from the wreckage, their faces covered. They appeared to be in school uniforms.

President John Magufuli sent a message with his condolences to families of the victims “at this time of tragedy and grief.”

Africa has the world’s highest per capita rate of road deaths though it has roughly just 2 percent of the world’s vehicles, the World Bank has reported. Poor infrastructure and maintenance are widespread.

Tanzania government data show that this East African nation saw 3,574 people killed in traffic accidents in 2015.