A giant sinkhole opened Friday in the parking lot of a hospital in Naples, Italy. It swallowed up three parked cars and disrupted utilities going to a nearby residence for recovering COVID-19 patients. That recovery center had to temporarily close while repairs were made.
The sinkhole occurred in the visitors’ parking lot of the Hospital of the Sea. But operations at the hospital itself were not affected. Firefighters confirmed also that no one appeared to be injured.
The 66-foot-deep, cavernous crumbled away to open around dawn. When the dust settled, the hole measured almost half an acre in size. The area has lately experienced heavy rains. Chief firefighter Commander Ennio Aquilino told an Italian television station that the implosion could have been caused by too much water underground.
The six people recovering at the COVID-19 patient residence were relocated. Regional governor Vincenzo De Luca says the residence will reopen in a few days. Both electricity and water services were in the process of being restored.
“Frankly, we were also worried about the collapse of all utilities and that the activity of the hospital could be jeopardized,” De Luca says. “Thank God, this did not happen. We had a power break, but electricity was restored and now we don't have any problem in providing care.”
(A large sinkhole opened in the parking lot of Ospedale del Mare hospital in Naples, Italy, early Friday morning. It swallowed up three cars and disrupted utilities to a nearby coronavirus patient residence. Alessandro Pone/LaPress via AP)