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51 Die in India Train Wreck

The death toll in a train accident in western India has risen to 51. More than 25 other people were injured.

Rescue teams have pulled more bodies from four mangled cars of a passenger train that derailed Sunday, about 500 kilometers south of Bombay.

The victims include women and children. The injured passengers have been admitted to hospitals.

The train was on its way from the port city of Karwar in Karnataka state to Bombay when a landslide forced it off the tracks just as it was about to enter a tunnel.

Rail authorities say the cars piled on top of one another as they jumped off the tracks, and slammed into a mountainside.

Soldiers, railway teams and local people joined the rescue operation. The region has been lashed by heavy monsoon rains in the past week.

Konkan Railway's spokeswoman, Vaishali Patange, said rescue work has been slow because of the wet weather and lack of roads to the site. "It is a remote location and, moreover, in that entire exercise of rescue operation, it was raining there in that region," she said. "It is only today [Tuesday] morning that the rain has reduced a little. That was the main cause hampering the rescue operation."

The accident is the first along a rail route built five years ago to connect Bombay with the popular tourist destinations of Goa and Mangalore. The track cuts through hills and spans rivers on the western coast, and was hailed as a major engineering achievement.

India has one of the world's largest rail networks with 14,000 trains ferrying more 13 million passengers every day. More than 300 accidents take place every year, and in recent years there have been repeated calls from transportation experts and the public for improved safety standards.