At least eight people are feared dead after their tour group was washed away when torrential rain turned Moscow’s underground sewers into a raging stream.
The group had embarked on a guided walk of the Russian capital’s sewers when a torrent of rain gushed down, forcing an underground spate to cascade through the tunnels.
A desperate search was underway today to find the eight caught in the devastating incident.
So far, the bodies of three tragic teenagers have been found – Gleb Lagashin, 17, his girlfriend Viktoria Schneider, 15, and his 15-year-old cousin Elizaveta Markushina, 15.
The body of one schoolgirl, 15, was said to be washed through an overflow into the Moscow River. She was reportedly found with a lacerated head wound.
The group had been on a tour of the Russian capital’s sewers. Four bodies were found after Moscow was hit by horrific flooding due to sudden torrential rain
A desperate search was underway today to find the eight caught in the devastating incident
The underground sewers are pictured where the tour group had been visiting. A desperate search is now underway
Russian authorities are now working to find and recover others, including Dmitry Markushkin, 47, a public relations chief for Russian IT company Lanit, related to both Gleb and Elizaveta.
A source earlier told Russian news agency TASS: ‘A group of up to eight people went on a tour of the underground collectors, where they were during a heavy rain.
‘No one gets in touch, people are being searched. Currently, the bodies of a man aged about 40 and a girl have been found in the Moscow River. identities are being established,’ the source said.
The group was also with a specialist guide identified as Konstantin Filipov, 31. He still remains missing.
His last message was a plea for help to exit the sewers early at Trubnaya, in Moscow’s north, due to an emergency caused by the heavy rain.
His SMS read: ‘F***, it’s raining. Can I go out at Trubnaya?’
Also missing was Darya Bykova, 34, who had registered to go on the excursion.
After the sudden downpour, all communication with the group was lost.
Relatives of the missing turned to the police for help.
Some of those identified as having been on the tour group were Gleb Lagashin (right), 17, and the tour guide Konstantin Filipov (left), 31
Some of those identified as having been on the tour group were Dmitry Markushkin, 47, a public relations chief for Russian IT company Lanit, his daughter Elizaveta, 15
Officials are now searching for at least eight bodies that were caught up in the cascading stream of water
A total of eight are 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.’
The underground sewers in Moscow are pictured. A total of eight are known to have been on the sewer tour, but officials fear there could be more
The cavernous Moscow sewers – many dating from Soviet times – have long carried a fascination
Some of the channels lead to secret locations in Moscow. There are fears victims could have been washed away here
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 to 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.