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Massive sinkhole swallows at least 3 cars outside hospital in southern Italy

The crater outside a hospital in Naples brought down trees and forced evacuation of nearby homes.

A massive sinkhole opened in southern Italy on Friday, swallowing at least three cars and briefly cutting power at nearby hospital, authorities said.

Neighborhood homes, including one for recovering Covid-19 patients, were evacuated but there appeared to be no injures caused by the crater in Naples, officials said.

The Covid-19 residence housed six patients and they've been relocated, authorities said.

The sinkhole opened under the largely empty visitors parking lot of Hospital of the Sea. Electricity and water service were briefly interrupted, but backup systems allowed operations to continue.

A sinkhole in the Ospedale del Mare hospital car park, where people come for Covid-19 testing, on the outskirts of the city of Naples, after the ground collapsed early on Jan. 8, 2021, destroying some vehicle.Ciro Fusco / AFP - Getty Images

“Frankly, we were also worried about the collapse of all utilities and that the activity of the hospital could be jeopardized,” regional governor Vincenzo 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.”

The 21,527-square-foot hole was about 66 feet deep.

"It’s almost certain that the rainwater from these past few days caused the seepage that resulted in the collapse," Chief firefighter Cmdr. Ennio Aquilino told Sky News. "There will be further technical inspections but the principal hypothesis is this."