Rescue workers attempt to rescue victims of Tanzania bus crash.
Rescue workers attempt to rescue victims of Tanzania bus crash.Stringer, Reuters

Over 30 people were killed on Saturday morning in a bus crash in northern Tanzania, officials said.

The victims were schoolchildren aged 12-14 from the Lucky Vincent elementary school in Arusha, and were traveling to another town for an exam.

The bus driver and two teachers were killed as well.

Tanzania President John Magufuli called the accident was a "national tragedy."

"This accident extinguishes the dreams of these children who were preparing to serve the nation, it is an immense pain for the families involved and for the whole nation," he said.

According to Regional Police Commander Charles Mkumbo, the accident "happened when the bus was descending on a steep hill in rainy conditions."

"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," he told Reuters.

Tanzania is east Africa's second-largest economy, but has poor road safety. According to government data, over 11,000 people were killed in road accidents in Tanzania between 2014-2016.