Death toll in Indian monsoon flooding exceeds 500

JOSHIMATH, India (AP) — A top official in a northern Indian state hit by heavy monsoon rains says more than 500 people died in the flooding and landslides.

Uttrakhand’s Chief Minister Vijay Bahguna says 556 bodies have been noticed buried deep in slush and the army was trying to recover them. He spoke to CNN-IBN television channel on Friday.

Rescuers also Friday found 40 bodies floating in the River Ganges near Haridwar, a Hindu holy city. The heavy rains caused by the annual monsoon have also stranded tens of thousands, mostly pilgrims, in the mountainous region.

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