BOMBAY, India (AP) - The death toll from a train derailment in
western India climbed to 51 on Tuesday after rescue workers found
more bodies in the wreckage, a railroad spokeswoman said.
Four cars of a passenger train derailed Sunday night after the
train hit a boulder that had tumbled onto the tracks in a landslide
caused by monsoon rains. The accident took place near Vaibhyavadi,
a village 310 miles south of Bombay.
Rescue workers were unlikely to find more bodies, said Vaishali
Patenge, a spokeswoman for the state-run Konkan Railways Corp.
"They are now clearing mostly debris of mangled coaches,"
Patenge told The Associated Press.
At least 25 passengers were injured in the accident, with 15
still being treated in a hospital while the rest having been
released, Patenge said.
Patenge denied news media reports Tuesday that blamed the
accident on lack of precautions by the railroad authorities.
The accident occurred because of incessant rains in the area,
she said. "In the past four days, the area has received almost a
quarter of the rain it gets in a full year," she said.
The train was on its way to Bombay from Karwar in southern
Karnataka state.
Train derailments are common in India, which has one of the
largest railroad networks in the world, carrying more than 14
million passengers each day.
The wrecks often are caused by poor maintenance of rail tracks,
negligence by rail traffic officials and sabotage by insurgent
groups.

APTV 06-24-03 0246EDT