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Many killed in India train crash

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Many killed in India train crash

A passenger train has derailed in southern India, killing at least 54 people and injuring 100, officials say.

But there are fears the number of dead could rise as seven of the carriages fell into flood waters caused by heavy rains in the area in recent days.

The accident happened early in the morning in the state of Andhra Pradesh, south of the state capital Hyderabad.

Several people are said to be trapped inside the submerged carriages making it harder for rescuers to reach them.

Each carriage was carrying between 50 to 60 passengers.

Holidaymakers

The Delta Express derailed near the town of Veligonda, about 30km (18 miles) south of Hyderabad, early on Saturday after flood waters washed away a part of the track.

Army and air force personnel are helping with the rescue operation, with soldiers using gas torches to try an open up the carriages, reports say.

Helicopters are being used to carry the wounded to nearby hospitals.

The BBC's Omer Farooq who is at the crash site say many of the victims were holidaymakers travelling to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, which takes place on Tuesday.

Srinivas Rao and his cousin Gangadhar were travelling on the train with their parents and managed to escape.

"But we don't know what's happened to our parents," they told the BBC.

"We were fast asleep, when there was a big bang and a thud. The next thing the train was under water," P Ramesh, a passenger, who lost seven members of his family, including his wife and brother, is quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

"It was pitch dark and people were screaming."

Heavy rains

Rains have lashed southern India for more than a week, claiming more than 100 lives in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

India's state-run railways system carries more than 13 million passengers a day.

It has one of the world's largest rail networks, but also has a poor safety record.

About 300 rail accidents are reported every year, resulting in a high number of casualties.

Earlier this month, at least 16 people died and dozens were injured in a train crash in Madhya Pradesh state.

Story from BBC NEWS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/worl...sia/4387474.stm

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