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Giant pothole sinks two cars in Rome

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Giant pothole sinks two cars in Rome
A screengrab from a video shared by Italy's fire service of a giant pothole in Rome. Photo: Vigili del Fuoco/Twitter
16:33 CET+01:00
A massive pothole opened overnight on a major road in the south of Rome, sucking in two parked cars.

Firefighters were called to haul the vehicles out of the three-metre-wide hole, which opened in the early hours of Tuesday on the side of the Gianicolense ring road in Monteverde neighbourhood, in the south-west of the capital. 

Images from the scene showed an SUV upended in the hole and a smaller car in front with just its back wheels submerged.

Firefighters used a crane to lift the two vehicles out. No one was reported injured.

A video released by the Italian fire service.

A spell of rain, snow and ice have taken their toll on Rome's already battered tarmac, with freeze-thaw damage worsening the capital's notoriously bad potholes even further. 

The mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi of the Five Star Movement, last week announced a "Marshall Plan" to mend the city's streets, at a cost of €17 million.

According to an app set up to map road damage, 10,000 potholes have been reported over the past seven years, with 110 appearing in the past month alone. 

They can be hazardous to pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike, as well as damaging vehicles and slowing traffic. In 2015 even James Bond fell victim to one of Rome's potholes, when actor Daniel Craig banged his head driving an Aston Martin through the city during the shooting of the 007 outing Spectre.

Last month a vast sinkhole opened near a construction site in north-western Rome, swallowing seven parked cars and forcing the evacuation of 22 nearby homes. Two people were placed under investigation for potential "culpable disaster". 

PICTURES: Massive sinkhole opens in Rome, swallowing cars
The 30-foot sinkhole that opened in Rome's Balduina neighbourhood in February. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

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