Sinkhole swallows cars at Italian hospital treating coronavirus patients

A view of the large sinkhole (Alessandro Pone/AP)

A giant sinkhole opened in the car park of a hospital in Naples, Italy, forcing the temporary closure of a nearby residence for recovering Covid-19 patients because the electricity was cut.

Operations were not affected at the Hospital of the Sea, and firefighters said it did not appear anyone was injured.

The sinkhole consumed a few cars in the hospital's otherwise empty visitors' car park.

A view of the large sinkhole (Alessandro Pone/AP)
A view of the large sinkhole (Alessandro Pone/AP)

The local hospital district said the 66 feet deep, 2,000-square-metre sinkhole opened at dawn.

Chief firefighter Commander Ennio Aquilino told Italian television channel SkyTG 24 the implosion could have been caused by an infiltration of water underground as a result of recent heavy rains.

News reports quoted the regional governor as saying the Covid-19 residence would reopen within days after electricity and water service were restored.

Cars were swallowed up in the sinkhole (Alessandro Pone/LaPresse/AP)
Cars were swallowed up in the sinkhole (Alessandro Pone/LaPresse/AP)

Both were also interrupted at the hospital, but backup systems allowed care to continue.

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