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58 killed as monsoon rains collapse houses in India's Uttar Pradesh

July 29, 2018

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Indian commuters make their way on a flooded road following heavy rain in Mathura in India's Uttar Pradesh state. —AFP
Indian commuters make their way on a flooded road following heavy rain in Mathura in India's Uttar Pradesh state. —AFP

At least 58 people have been killed in the past two days as monsoon rains triggered house collapses and flooded wide swaths of land in northern India, officials said on Saturday.

Weather officials predicted more rain in the next 48 hours in India's most populous state of Uttar Pradesh.

The deaths occurred since rains started on Thursday night, said government spokesman Awanish Awasthi. Ten of the victims died in Meerut district.

In Agra, the northern Indian city where the white marble Taj Mahal is located, at least six died, including four members of a family who perished in a house collapse, Awasthi said.

He said the dead included women and children.

Officials said at least 53 people were injured and over 200 houses were damaged in the torrential rains. Rains also damaged an outer boundary wall of the 16th century Fatehpur Sikri fort. However, there was no harm to the main monument and to human life, said another official, P.K. Singh.

Singh said authorities closed schools Saturday in the area as the weather department issued an alert for more rains.

India's monsoon season usually lasts until October.

Bus falls into gorge in Maharashtra; 33 feared dead

More than 30 people were feared dead after a bus fell into a deep gorge in western India, an official said.

The bus was carrying 34 employees of an agriculture university when it plunged off a mountain road while negotiating a curve in Raigad district of Maharashtra state, said civil administrator Vijay Suryawanshi. He said the bus fell into a deep, forested gorge.

One man survived as he jumped out of the bus and later scaled onto the road to inform university officials about the accident, Suryawanshi said.

He said the employees were on a private picnic.

Rescue teams had so far recovered nearly a dozen bodies amid intermittent rains in the area. India has the world's deadliest roads, with more than 110,000 people killed annually. Most crashes are blamed on reckless driving, poorly maintained roads and aging vehicles.