Death toll from monsoon rains in India reaces 749

Rescuers scouring flood-ravaged areas in western India found more bodies, pushing the death toll from record rains this week to 749.

Rescuers were searching vast areas of Maharashtra state, battered this week by deadly rains, said N. Nayar, an official at the government's emergency control room in Bombay, the state capital and worst-hit area.

"The death toll is 749 now, including 376 in Bombay alone," said M. Deshpande, assistant director at the control room. Most deaths were caused by collapsing walls, drownings and electrocutions, he said.

The toll included at least 15 people, including seven children, who died late Thursday in a Bombay shantytown stampede set off by rumors of a dam bursting, the officials said. More than 25 others were injured.

On Tuesday, the cosmopolitan city that is home to India's financial and movie industries was hit by an unprecedented deluge of up to 37 inches (94 centimeters) of rain in some areas, the highest recorded one-day total in India's history,the AP reports.

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