ROME, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- Two people are under investigation over a giant sinkhole that opened on a Rome city street, swallowing several cars, Italian news agency ANSA reported Thursday.
No one was injured in the collapse of a piece of the street, which sank 10 meters, taking a reported parked and fortunately empty 7 cars down with it.
Rome prosecutors opened a culpable collapse investigation after the incident that occurred late on Wednesday, prompting the evacuation of 20 families -- reportedly a total of 60 people -- from two residential buildings in the upper-middle class Monte Mario neighborhood, located on a hilltop overlooking the city.
Photos of the gigantic hole in the street, with several cars stuck in the sides and crushed and overturned at the bottom, circulately widely on news and social media on Wednesday evening and into the day on Thursday.
The sinkhole opened up when a sustaining wall gave way at building site for a new apartment building with an underground garage, local media reported. "It was like a disaster movie," one eyewitness told Sky TG24 private broadcaster.
"It was a disaster that has been not only announced, but also denounced," quipped local resident Giancarlo De Capraris, who was interviewed by various media. "It was like an earthquake," De Capraris told La7 private broadcaster.
De Capraris, a lawyer, said that since the fall of last year he made several reports to city authorities and law enforcement over the building site, which was causing earth tremors, vibrations in nearby buildings, and broken water pipes. No one responded, De Capraris said.
Those being investigated represent the company that owns the land, and the construction company that was carrying out the work at the site, according to ANSA.