8 Die in Moscow Sewer Disaster

They were trapped by flooding, authorities say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2023 7:00 PM CDT
8 Die in Moscow Sewer Disaster
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/AnnaArinova)

Russian authorities are seeking the organizers of a tour that took people into Moscow's sewer system during heavy rains, with tragic results. In what Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin called a "terrible tragedy," eight people, including a tour guide, died Sunday after flooding trapped them in the sewer system, the BBC reports. According to reports in Russian media, the group had been exploring the underground Neblinka river, a tributary of the Moskva, when it rose sharply. All eight bodies have been recovered, some of them from the Moskva, authorities say.

Several companies offer guided tours of Moscow's sewer system, parts of which were built in the 19th century, but authorities say Sunday's tour was illegal, reports Reuters. Authorities say a criminal case has been opened against three suspects. One is already in custody and another is believed to have fled the country. According to the TASS state news agency, the eight who died included the 15-year-old daughter and 17-year-old nephew of the tour guide. (Read more Moscow stories.)

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