At least 31 people, including pupils and three teachers, were killed after a school bus plunged into a gorge in Tanzania on Saturday morning, authorities said.

The accident involved pupils and three teachers of the Lucky Vincent English Medium Primary School located on the outskirts of northern Tanzania’s safari capital of Arusha.

Theresia Mahongo, Karatu District Commissioner, said that the mishap occurred after their school bus plunged into the Marera gorge located more than 150 kilometers from Arusha city, the main gateway to Tanzania’s northern tourist destinations of Ngorongoro crater and Serengeti National Park. Enditem

According to Mahongo, the school bus had 35 people on board, mostly pupils, and their teachers, who left Arusha at around 7 a.m. local time to Karatu Township.

The pupils were supposed to participate in inter-school mock examinations with their counterparts in the district.

Reports say that later, after the examinations, the pupils planned to have an excursion into the Ngorongoro Crater.

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However, when the bus went past the Rhotia Hill Township, speeding downhill to the road section known as ‘Kwa-Karani’, eye witnesses saw the vehicle catapulted into the air and nose dive into the gorge adjacent to River Marera, in Karatu District.

Charles Mkumbo, Arusha Regional Police Commander (RPC) confirmed the accident, though he was not in a position to establish the actual figure of dead people and survivors.

“We are yet to establish the exact number of those who died in the accident,” the regional police chief said.