VELIGONDA, India – Army divers searched Sunday for survivors and the dead in the submerged cars of a train that derailed and plunged into a rain-swollen river a day before in southern India, killing at least 110 people, officials said.
The accident occurred early Saturday in the town of Veligonda (search) in Andhra Pradesh (search) state after flash floods washed away a portion of the track.
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 railcars, five of which lay on their sides, partially submerged. One of the cars rested atop another.
Rescuers swam to the train to help pull out the injured. Soldiers were lowered onto the cars from a helicopter to cut through the top and retrieve passengers.
Railway officials were waiting for cranes to reach the accident site in Veligonda, about 50 miles east of the state capital, Hyderabad, to lift the submerged cars from the water.
Officials said the train — an engine and 17 cars — hit a portion of track that had been washed away by flash floods, causing seven coaches to derail. The 10 remaining cars 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 neighboring states of Tamil Nadu (search) and Karnataka (search). Most of the victims drowned, but some were electrocuted or crushed under falling buildings.
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 site.
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, which is plagued by accidents. Around 300 accidents involving trains occur in India each year — most of which are blamed on lax safety standards.
In early October, a train traveling at least six times the speed limit derailed in central India, killing 13 people and injuring dozens more.