A giant sinkhole has opened up 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 at the Hospital of the Sea were not affected, and firefighters said no one appeared to be injured. The sinkhole consumed a few cars in the hospital’s otherwise empty visitors’ car park on Friday.

The local hospital district said the 20-metre-deep (66ft), 2,000 sq metre (21,527 sq ft) sinkhole opened at dawn. Ennio Aquilino the chief firefighting officer, told the Italian television channel SkyTG 24 the implosion could have been caused by an infiltration of water underground from the recent heavy rains.

News reports quoted the regional governor as saying the Covid-19 residence would reopen within days, after electricity and water services were restored. These services were also interrupted at the hospital, but backup systems allowed care to continue.


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