Eight bodies retrieved after Moscow sewer tour accident - TASS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian rescuers have retrieved the bodies of all eight people who went missing after heavy rain trapped them in Moscow's sewer system during a guided underground tour, the TASS state news agency reported on Tuesday.

Heavy rain in Moscow on Sunday caused water levels in the underground Neglinka river to rise sharply, preventing the people from escaping to the surface, TASS previously quoted rescue workers as saying.

"Now all eight participants in the excursion have been found. They all died. The search operation is at an end," a rescue worker told TASS.

Russia's state Investigative Committee said the tour was illegal and a criminal case had been opened. It named three suspects, of whom it said one had already been detained and charged but another left the country on Monday.

Investigators have started the process of formally identifying the bodies, TASS said. It reported on Monday that the dead included a company employee, his 15-year-old daughter and 17-year-old nephew.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has called the incident a "terrible tragedy" and sent his condolences to the families.

A number of guides offer tours of Moscow's sprawling sewer system, parts of which date back to the 19th century.

(Writing by Gareth Jones; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)