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Friday, September 29, 2023

Heavy rain turns Moscow sewers tour into tragedy

A group of people examining the dungeons beneath the Russian capital has apparently been swept away by rising water

Three people have died and several more remain missing after a group of tourists on an illegal excursion into sewage collectors in central Moscow were caught underground by heavy rain, local media outlets have reported.

On Sunday, the Russian capital was hit by a massive shower, which saw 40% of the monthly average of precipitation falling on the city, according to Moscow officials, and caused flooding in some areas.

Some 20 people initially signed up for an excursion of the Neglinnaya River, which flows in underground tunnels through central Moscow, that had been scheduled to take place on the day – a source in emergency services told RIA-Novosti.


Most of them canceled due to the weather forecast, but eight people still descended into the sewers, he added.

The group was apparently underground when the rain suddenly intensified and many ended up getting swept away by rising water.

On Sunday evening, the body of a 15-year-old girl was recovered from the Moskva River. The body of a 17-year-old boy was found in the water in the same area early on Monday, according to Izvestia.

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RIA-Novost’s source said that another body, belonging to a man, had been fished out from a sewage collector near the capital’s Paveletsky train station on Monday morning. The fate of the other participants of the tourist group currently remains unknown.

Several media outlets reported that a 47-year-old employee of one of Russia’s leading IT companies, Lanit, his 15-year-old daughter and his 17-year-old nephew, were among those who had gone underground.

The organizers of the tours of the Neglinnaya River have been offering their services online for 9,000 rubles (around $95) per person. At the moment, all of their upcoming excursions have been canceled, according to their website.

A criminal case over the provision of services that don’t meet safety standards was launched after the deadly sewers tour, a source within law enforcement agencies told RIA-Novosti. The article carries a maximum punishment of up to ten years in prison.


READ MORE: People trapped in cars as flooding hits southern Germany (VIDEOS)

The Deputy Speaker of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, Boris Chernyshov has called for criminal liability to be introduced for breaching underground facilities and vital city infrastructure, including organizing tours.

August 21, 2023 at 07:29PM


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