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Army divers on Sunday searched for survivors and the dead in the
submerged carriages of a train that derailed and plunged into a
rain-swollen river in southern India, killing at least 110
The train derailed before sunrise on Saturday after flash floods
washed away part of the track at Veligonda , a town in Andhra
Ten more bodies were found downstream overnight, raising the
death toll to 110, said state Home Minister K Jana Reddy.
Scores of passengers remained trapped inside the carriages, five
of which lay on their sides, partially submerged.
Rescuers swam out to the train to help pull out the injured.
Soldiers were lowered onto the carriages from a helicopter to cut
through the top and retrieve passengers who spent the night hanging
on to luggage racks and ceiling fans.
Railway officials were waiting for cranes to reach the accident
site in Veligonda, about 80 km east of the state capital,
"We were fast asleep when there was a big bang and a thud. The
next thing the train was under water," said P Ramesh, a passenger
who lost seven members of his family in the wreck, including his
wife and brother.
"It was pitch dark and people were screaming," he said as he
waited for soldiers to cut his relatives' bodies free from the
"I was able to clamber out of the coach, but others were not so
lucky. They are still inside."
Officials said the train - an engine and 17 carriages - hit a
portion of track that had been washed away by flash floods, causing
seven cars to derail. The 10 others were pulled to a safe section
of the track.
Rains have battered southern India for more than a week,
claiming at least 90 other lives in Andhra Pradesh and the
neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Most of those
drowned, but some were electrocuted or crushed under falling
Three days of particularly heavy rain caused three reservoirs to
breach their banks, triggering the flash floods, said R Velu, a
federal junior minister for railways who visited the accident
Rains also washed away roads in the area, slowing rescuers and
ambulances trying to reach the accident site.
Every day, at least 13 million people use India's state-run rail
network. Around 300 accidents involving trains occur in India each
year - most of which are blamed on lax safety standards.
In early October, a train travelling at least six times the
speed limit derailed in central India, killing 13 people and
injuring dozens more.
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