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(BosNewsLife) – Flooding caused by India ‘s heaviest rain ever recorded has killed hundreds of people in the slums of the country’s commercial capital Mumbai and also destroyed a dozen churches and a bible college there, missionaries said Friday, July 29. Some reports quoted police as saying that close to 800 people were killed throughout India ‘s western state of Maharashtra, most of them in its capital Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay . Other officials said over 500 people died and it was difficult to verify the discrepancies. The slums, where 5 million of the city’s over 15 million people live, were particularly hard hit, said K.P. Yohannan, president of the missionary group Gospel For Asia (GFA), speaking in Mumbai.

“Keep in mind some 5 million people live in makeshift huts with dirt floors in the lower parts” of Mumbai, he said in a statement to BosNewsLife. “It is said that 500 people have already died [here], and the death toll continues to rise. But one political leader I talked to said that no one really knows how many hundreds and hundreds may have died from among the poorest of the poor in the slums.” Adding to anxiety was a stampede late Thursday, July 28, set off by rumors of a dam burst, which killed at least 15 people, including seven children, in a Mumbai shantytown, officials and local media said. More than 25 people were injured in the stampede, which occurred in the Nehru Nagar slum in northern Bombay, said R.R. Patil, deputy chief minister of Maharashtra state.“People died due to false rumors,” Patil told The Associated Press (AP) news agency. “Fifteen people have been killed and seven are children.”