Source Pravda.Ru

Indian passenger train derails: At least 111 people die

At least 111 people died and 92 others were injured after an Indian passenger train derailed as it attempted to cross tracks washed away by a flood, officials say. The updated death roll was released on Sunday by a railways spokesman. The train derailed early Saturday in India's southern Andhra Pradesh state near the town of Valigonda, as it crossed a bridge flanking a reservoir.

Seven coaches of the 15-coach train plunged into the water.

Hundreds of rescue workers converged on the scene after the derailment. The railway protection force and branches of the Indian military were also called upon to help with rescue efforts.

Rescuers swam to the train to help pull out the injured. Other rescue workers lowered onto the cars from a helicopter used acetylene torches to cut through the top and retrieve passengers.

Army divers searched Sunday for survivors and the dead in the submerged cars, The Associated Press reported.

The updated death toll of 111 came from Krishnaiah Panabaka, chief public relations officer for India's state-run South Central Railway. Seventy bodies have been released to relatives, he said.

The train, the Repalle-Secunderabad Delta Fast Passenger, was en route from Repalle to Secunderabad when it derailed. Passengers on the train's other coaches were evacuated in buses.

The 10 remaining cars were pulled to a safe section of the track. Officials say their main priority now is to reconstruct the tracks that had been washed away.

Andra Pradesh has been experiencing torrential rains after a slow-moving tropical depression made landfall there on Friday. There have been reports of other railway lines and roads washed away.

Rains have battered southern India for more than a week, claiming at least 90 other lives in Andhra Pradesh and the neighboring states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Most of the victims drowned, but some were electrocuted or crushed under falling buildings, AP reported. I.L.

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