Toll rises in India train derailment

Another 10 bodies have been recovered from a train that derailed and toppled into swirling floodwaters in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, bringing the death toll to 110, an official said.

    Rescuers search for survivors on Saturday

    Army personnel and navy divers were continuing their efforts on Sunday to retrieve bodies from the submerged carriages of the train after Saturday's accident, South Central Railway spokesman P. Krishnaiah told AFP.

    "The toll has gone up to 110," Krishnaiah said.

    Around 100 bodies were recovered on Saturday, while 92 injured passengers were brought to hospitals in the state capital Hyderabad.

    Only three passengers are in serious condition, he added.

    Home minister of Andhra Pradesh state, K. Jana Reddy, has told reporters the accident near the town of Nalgonda occurred when the train hit breaches in the track caused by water overflowing from nearby reservoirs after heavy rains.

    Week of rain

    Rains have battered southern India for more than a week, causing at least 100 other deaths in house collapses and drownings in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

    Two army helicopters hauled bodies away with a rope and harness in the first hours after the accident, but later the operation was called off because it was too risky.

    Rescue teams, with the help of villagers, then used ropes to help wade through the water to reach the train carriages and drag bodies to higher land.

    The navy and army joined in with inflatable boats.

    The train was serving the route between the coastal town of Repalli and the inland city of Secunderabad when it derailed between the stations of Ramanapet and Vellugonda.

    State-run Indian Railways transports more than 13 million passengers daily on networks that sprawl 108,700km (66,800 miles) across the nation with a population of more than one billion.

    About 300 accidents are recorded every year, some of which result in hundreds of deaths.

    SOURCE: AFP


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