Image: Heavy rain in Amritsar
Altaf Qadri  /  AP
A rickshaw operator pedals through the rain in Amritsar, India, on Monday.
updated 7/14/2009 10:37:13 AM ET 2009-07-14T14:37:13

Floodwaters swept away a bus while it crossed a small bridge in eastern India, drowning at least seven people, an official said Tuesday.

Rescuers searched for an additional 15 people who were missing following Monday night's accident in the Nayagarh district of Orissa state, said top local administrator K.C. Jena.

Some of the 20 people rescued from the Besalia river said the driver had ignored warnings from passengers not to cross the bridge because it was submerged by floodwaters, Jena told The Associated Press.

Nayagarh is about 75 miles west of the Orissa state capital of Bhubaneshwar.

Heavy monsoon rains in the state have killed 12 people since Sunday, state officials said.

Scores of villages in India's northeastern Assam state also have been inundated, leaving nearly 500,000 people homeless.

In Mumbai, India's entertainment and financial capital, heavy showers delayed commuter trains Tuesday, causing massive traffic snarls. Television reports showed stalled vehicles and pedestrians wading through knee-deep water in some parts of the city.

In New Delhi and several parts of north and central India, however, temperatures continued to hover around 104 degrees Fahrenheit with little or no rain.

The monsoon season in India begins in June and ends in September.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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