Officials in Naples, Italy Friday reported a massive, 2,000-square meter sinkhole opened in the parking lot of the Hospital of the Sea parking lot, swallowing cars and knocking out power at a nearby facility for COVID-19 patients, but no injuries were reported.
The firefighters say the hole, about 20 meters deep, opened in the early morning hours and residents in the area reported hearing an explosion at the time. But the officials say it is unclear if the explosion occurred before or after the ground collapsed. Italian media reports say the explosion may have been from gas or oxygen pipes below street level.
Chief firefighter Commander Ennio Aquilino told Italian television channel SkyTG 24 the sinkhole could have been caused by an infiltration of water underground as a result of recent heavy rains.
Officials say some patients at the COVID-19 facility had to be evacuated.
News reports quote the regional governor, Vincenzo De Luca, as saying the COVID-19 facility would reopen within days after electricity and water service were restored. The hospital continued operations using backup systems.