Giant sinkhole consumes cars in Italy

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A giant sinkhole has opened in the parking lot 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 weren't affected at the Hospital of the Sea and firefighters said it didn't appear anyone was injured.

The sinkhole consumed a few cars in the hospital's otherwise empty visitors' parking lot.

The local hospital district said the 20-metre-deep, 2000-square-metre sinkhole opened at dawn on Friday.

Chief firefighter Cmdr. 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.

Both were also interrupted at the hospital but back-up systems allowed care to continue.