India floods
© (L) Central Railway / Twitter; (R) Indian Air Force / AFP
Hundreds of passengers in India spent over 15 hours without food or drinking water after their train got stuck in a giant lake created by torrential rain. Army and navy units were deployed to the scene.

The long-distance Mahalaxmi Express left Mumbai for Kolhapur in India's western coastal Maharashtra state on Friday night, but managed to travel just 60km before getting stuck in the downpour. Around 700 passengers instantly became stranded as the field in which the train stopped turned into a large lake.

The trapped travelers recorded cellphone videos, pleading for help. They told local media that they had no food or drinking water for 15 hours. The passengers also said the train was surrounded from all sides by five to six feet of water.

The authorities warned people not to leave the train on their own due to dangerously high levels of rainwater.

Two military helicopters and several navy and army teams were deployed to the scene along with emergency services.

The rescuers used inflatable rafts to evacuate the passengers. As of 3pm local time, some 600 people, including nine pregnant women, were taken to safety at the nearest railway station.

Heavy rains have stalled traffic in Mumbai. Dozens of trains were canceled or diverted in the area.