A huge 50-meter wide sinkhole opened up in the car park of a hospital in Naples, Italy, causing a power cut at the Ospedale del Mare on Friday, January 8. The sinkhole swallowed cars and forced the temporary closure of the nearby residence for recovering coronavirus patients because of the electricity cut. According to the BBC, no one was injured, however, the hospital had to rely on generators.
While taking to Twitter, Central Emergency Department shared a video of firefighters with sniffer dogs, who were dispatched to make sure none had been trapped in the giant hole. The Italian Urban Search team wrote, "The work of the #cinofili nucleus and the Urban Search and Rescue teams of the #vigilidelfuoco continues to exclude the presence of people involved in the chasm opened in the hospital parking lot."
🔴 #Napoli #8gennaio 12:00, prosegue il lavoro del nucleo #cinofili e delle squadre #Usar (Urban Search and Rescue) dei #vigilidelfuoco per escludere la presenza di persone coinvolte nella voragine aperta nel parcheggio dell’ospedale pic.twitter.com/06a9bWRb3c— Vigili del Fuoco (@emergenzavvf) January 8, 2021
The operations at the Hospital of the Sea were not affected. The local district said that the 20-meter-deep (66ft) sinkhole opened at dawn. While speaking to Italian television channel SkyTG24, Ennio Aquilino, who is the chief firefighting officer, said that the implosion could have been caused by an infiltration of water underground from the recent heavy rains.
The media outlet also quoted the regional governor, Vincenzo De Luca, as saying the coronavirus residence would reopen within days after electricity and water services were restored. The governor also added that these services were also interrupted at the hospital, however, backup systems allowed care to continue.
"Frankly, we were also worried about the collapse of all utilities and that the activity of the hospital could be jeopardized," De Luca said. "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."