October 29, 2005

About 150 feared dead as train derails in India

By S. Radha Kumar

HYDERABAD, India (Reuters) - Up to 150 people were feared
killed when seven coaches of a passenger train derailed in
southern India on Saturday after a bridge collapsed in heavy
rain, a railway official said.

The accident in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh
occurred as a storm lashed the region, causing floods in
low-lying areas.

"A railway bridge across a stream collapsed due to heavy
rains leading to the derailment. About 150 people are feared
dead. So far we have recovered 10 bodies," P. Krishnaiah, chief
public relations officer of southcentral railways, told

Cranes and a rescue train had been rushed to the site, 30
km (18 miles) south of the state capital Hyderabad.

Krishnaiah said about 100-200 metres (328-656 ft) of
railway track on the approach to the bridge had been washed

A railway official in New Delhi said about 700 people had
been rescued.

Elsewhere in the storm-ravaged state, 35 people died in
incidents of house collapses, drowning and electrocutions in
Nellore, Chittoor and Prakasham districts, the state's disaster
management commissioner, D.C. Rosaiah, said.

"Twenty-five of them died in wall collapses and drowning in
Nellore district alone," Rosaiah said.

The official said nearly 150 people, including 55
fishermen, were missing as swollen streams swept away several
cars, autorickshaws and a bus in the affected districts.

The storm has been triggered by a depression over the Bay
of Bengal, according to weather officials.

Power supply in six Andhra districts including Kadapa was
also cut.