- Flights diverted, hundreds stranded on train near Mumbai
- Massive waterlogging, traffic jams reported across city
- Buildings were flooded after Ulhas river overflowed
Mumbai: Indian navy helicopters and emergency service boats came to the rescue of more than 900 people stranded on a train in floods near Mumbai on Saturday.
The Mahalaxmi Express left Mumbai late Friday for Kolhapur but got only 60 kilometres (37 miles) before it became stranded after a river burst its banks in torrential rain covering the tracks.
The train was stuck for several hours in Thane district before authorities called in the Indian navy and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) with helicopters, boats, and divers.
Indian Railways said more than 600 people were rescued within four hours of the operation starting.
Aerial images showed boats taking people wearing life jackets away from the stricken train, trapped in a sea of muddy brown water that covered surrounding fields.
Ambulances and at least 37 doctors were deployed to treat passengers, who were also given food and water, Indian Railways said.
A company spokesman added that a "special relief train" would take people to their final destinations.
Besides those stuck on the train, a slew of deployments were made to save others stuck in flood-hit areas in the state. An IAF Mi-17 helicopter, for instance, rescued 9 people, stranded atop a building in Kalyan, today.
Heavy rain forced the diversion of at least 17 inbound flights, while hundreds of passengers were stuck on the Mumbai-Kolhapur Mahalaxmi Express train near Vangani since Friday night.
Some flight operations were resumed in Mumbai on Saturday morning after heavy rain paralysed the city and its surrounding areas.
Rail service was also severely disrupted in Mumbai, the financial capital of the country, after heavy rain continued overnight.
On Saturday morning, at least 11 flights were cancelled at the Mumbai airport due to poor visibility, according to India's NDTV channel. Several flights were diverted, too.
Meanwhile, two military helicopters and six boats of the National Disaster Response Force were sent in to rescue as many as 700 people stranded on board a passenger train about 60 km out of Mumbai on Saturday.
Massive waterlogging was reported at Badlapur on Saturday, while many buildings were flooded after Ulhas river overflowed as heavy showers pummeled Mumbai.
By 7:42 am, seven aircraft had taken off from the Mumbai airport. They include five Indigo, one Air India and one Emirates aircraft, according to the Hindustan Times.
The rain had also forced the cancellations of seven outbound flights and four incoming planes while eight flights were asked to circle and nine were diverted past midnight.
Mumbai’s suburbs received 73-303 mm rainfall in the 24 hours starting Friday morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) reported.
Forecasters also predict heavy rainfall through Saturday. A few spells of heavy rain across isolated areas in the city and its suburbs have been predicted on Sunday.
Friday’s rain left several arterial roads in the city waterlogged that sparked traffic jams and threw life India’s financial capital out of gear.
Incessant rain has submerged railway tracks at Badlapur railway station on the Central line of Mumbai Suburban Railway network, following rainfall in the region.