Three students died and one survived after being hit by lightning in south-western Tanzania's region of Songwe, local authorities said on Wednesday.

Christopher Kafuru, head of Ndyuda Secondary School, said that the killed were all pre-form one students at the school located in a small town of Mlowo in Mbozi District, Songwe Region.

Kafuru said the incident occurred on Tuesday at around 4:30 p.m. (local time) when the students were playing outside the classrooms when the lightning hit the area.

"They were four students and one of them survived the tragic incident and is the one who informed teachers on the accident," the official said, adding that the victims were rushed to the nearby hospital, and it was confirmed that the children were already dead.

Acting Songwe Regional Police Commander, Yusuph Sarungi confirmed the incident, describing the incident as the first one to happen this year.

Sarungi advised the public in the district which is famed for growing coffee and maize not to swim or take shelter under trees during storms as some trees were more likely to attract lightning than others.

He said Mbozi is one of the most lightning-prone areas around the south-western part of the east African nation, cautioning residents to be extra careful during the rainy season.

Fatalities during lightning storms are common in northwestern regions of Tanzania during its two rainy seasons, which typically occur in October to November and March to April.