Eight people feared dead in Moscow sewers after being washed away in torrential rain

Eight people feared dead in Moscow sewers after being washed away in torrential rain

At least eight people are feared to be dead while touring Moscow’s underground sewers, when torrential rain turned the Russian channels into raging subterranean rivers

A desperate search was underway today with four bodies so far found. These include a man and three teenagers, two girls and a boy. They were washed away by an underground spate.

The body of one schoolgirl, 15, was found apparently washed through an overflow into the Moscow River. She had a lacerated head wound. Known to have been in the sewers were Lanit IT public relations chief Dmitry Markushkin, 47, his daughter Elizaveta, 15, their relative Gleb Lagashin, 17, and his girlfriend Vila, 15.

They were with a specialist guide identified as Konstantin Filipov, 31. His last message was a plea for help to exit the sewers early at Trubnaya due to an emergency caused by the heavy rain. His SMS read: “F***, it’s raining. Can I go out at Trubnaya?”

The Moscow sewers where the bodies were found

After the sudden downpour, all communication with the group was lost. Relatives of the missing turned to the police for help. A total of eight people were known to have been on the sewer tour, but officials fear there could be more. Two dozen had signed for the subterranean tour and Baza said it is not known how many actually went.

“It is possible that there were actually two groups of 12, not counting guides,” said Baza. The £75 tour included the secret labyrinths under Moscow, and at least eight went on the trip. Another tour guide – known as a digger – said: “Why the main rule [no tours in the rain] was violated, I do not know. Neither do I know if the [guide] himself survived – no-one can contact him. There is also a question as to why minors were allowed on the tour. Generally, tours do not involve people under 18.”

One of the girls was found with a lacerated head wound
It is understood relatives have been asked to identify bodies of those bodies found after the sewer spate subsided. Restrictions on Russians travelling to the West mean many are taking their vacations this year in their own country. The cavernous Moscow sewers – many dating from Soviet times – have long carried a fascination.

Some of the channels lead under secret locations in Moscow. There are fears victims could have been washed away here and special permission will be needed to search for them. Elsewhere in Moscow, videos show how the raging rain caused waterfalls in warehouses and alarming flooding.

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