At least 34 people have been killed and 17 injured when a bus ploughed into a crowd outside the northern Haitian city of Gonaives.

Marie-Alta Jean Baptiste, head of Haiti's civil protection office, told AFP news agency on Sunday that first the bus ran over two pedestrians, killing one and injuring the other.

Then the driver rammed into a band of street musicians while trying to speed away, killing 33 others. The incident took place about 150km from the capital, Port-au-Prince.

The vehicle crashed into a "rara" parade. Rara parades are groups of musicians playing traditional instruments who are often joined by passers-by.

Emergency workers transported the injured to a hospital, while police tried to control an angry crowd that attacked the bus.

After the incident, other musicians and people in the parade began hurling rocks at the bus and passing vehicles, injuring other people, said Albert Moulion, the Ministry of the Interior's spokesman.

"The people who were not victims of the accident tried to burn the bus with the passengers inside," said Faustin Joseph, a coordinator at the civic protection office in the Artibonite region.

"The bus, the passengers, and the driver were all placed into the care" of local authorities, Joseph said.

The bus was travelling from Cap Haitien to Port-au-Prince at the time of the incident.

Jovenel Moise, Haiti's president, later on Sunday "expressed his deep sadness following the terrible accident" in a statement.

"The head of state conveys, on behalf of the whole government, his sincere condolences to the families and those close to the victims," the statement read.

Moise called for "an investigation as soon as possible to shine light on this tragedy".

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Source: News agencies