100 die as train falls into river

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The Independent Online

Rescue workers pulled 100 bodies from seven carriages of a passenger train that derailed and fell into a rain-swollen river yesterday, but railway officials warned that scores more people were trapped inside.

"We have recovered 100 bodies so far. And some bodies may have been washed away," said Thomas Verghese, general manager of India's southern railway.

About 100 injured passengers had been rescued from the coaches, which derailed after floods washed away the tracks in the town of Veligonda in Andhra Pradesh state. They were flown by helicopters to hospitals in Hyderabad, the state capital.

Army divers and local volunteers swam out to the carriages to help pull out the injured. Other soldiers, lowered on to the roof of the coaches by helicopter, used gas cutters to reach people hanging on to luggage racks and ceiling fans.

Rain has battered south India for over a week.