AT least 10 people were reported dead and several others seriously injured, when a bus they were traveling in from Tarime veered off the road before hitting a house along the Tarime-Mwanza Highway in Simiyu Region.
Simiyu Regional Police Commander (RPC), Charles Mkumbo, confirmed the accident, saying it involved the bus christened Lehuye Express with registration number T410 AWQ.
Mr Mkumbo told the 'Daily News' over the phone that the accident occurred at around 11.10 in the morning at Ichira area, Itwimila village in Busega District, Simiyu Region. Only two bodies had been identified as we went to press last night.
The RPC named the deceased as Mgambo Lukas, a student at St Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT) in Mwanza and Wangwi Moris, Assistant Education Officer (Primary Schools) in Shinyanga District.
The regional police boss added that casualties were rushed to Bunda, Magu and Bugando hospitals for treatment.
"There were also some children in the house with their grandmother; thank God they all survived except one child who was injured and rushed to hospital," he said, adding that two goats, which were in the house, were also killed. According to Mr Mkumbo, the source of the carnage was yet to be established.
However, police suspect speeding might have been the cause. The bus driver was reportedly trying to avoid a pedestrian when he lost control, before the bus hit a house belonging to one of the late Mwalimu Lazaro Mbofu.
The rescue exercise was still continuing by noon yesterday, with the RPC saying that the rescue team faced difficulties as the bus was badly damaged.
RPC Mkumbo could not immediately tell the number of casualties and passengers who escaped the accident safely, saying by the time the police arrived at the scene, some Samaritans had already taken few casualties to Bugando Hospital.
Efforts to reach the doctor-in-charge at the Bugando Referral Hospital for comment on the number of casualties admitted there and their condition failed yesterday, as his phone was not reachable.
The Territorial Traffic Police Commander, Mr Mohamed Mpinga confirmed the incident in Dar es Salaam last evening, saying that his officers were already at the scene of the accident to establish the source of the accident for necessary action.
He called on motorists and passengers to adhere to traffic rules and regulations to reduce road accidents, which always claim lives and leaving many more injured.