Regional Police Commander Justine Masejo said the five were digging for murram before a huge chunk of soil broke loose and fell on them.
District Commissioner Said Mtanda confirmed the incident, as he headed for the quarry to help in supervising rescue efforts.
He conveyed his condolences to the families of the deceased, but declared: “I would like to stress that the government has been prohibiting quarrying activities in these areas after assessing the possibilities of disaster striking.”
The DC ordered police, the Mining Commission and the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) to mount patrols in the area and in all other places where quarry activities continue despite being prohibited.
Anyone found disregarding the directives would face legal action, he warned.
while Muriet health centre doctor in charge Hamisi Balewa confirmed having received the bodies of the three people.
Peter Kachema, the chairman of the Murram Mining Association in the area, said the two people who survived the incident had fled shortly before the pit collapsed.