Bringing out the dead: Dozens of coffins seen dangling from ruins after eerie cemetery collapse
NAPLES, ITALY: Shocking images show coffins dangling off the side of a building after a cemetery in Naples collapsed for the second time this year on Monday afternoon, October 17. The sight of twelve coffins dangling in the air might have looked like a macabre Halloween display, but it was actually caused by the collapse of a four-story building, reported Dailystar.
The crypt at a large cemetery in Naples - known as the Poggioreale Monumental Cemetery - caved in for the second time this year, leaving dramatic photographs that showed the caskets and urns it housed quickly emerging out of the eerie scene.
Extraordinary photo shows coffins dangling, after collapse of cemetery in #Naples. Deceased are buried in niches of collapsed marble building. It has highlighted neglect & corruption of an industry captured by profiteers. It is the 2nd such collapse.— Cara Mia (@CaraMia200) October 19, 2022
(pic: Cyro Fusco, EPA) #Italy pic.twitter.com/SmX5iddBIw
The collapse of the marble structure has drawn criticism from certain quarters, who attribute it to Naples' poor cemetery maintenance, while others blame the neighboring construction of an underground metro line. Rain is another potential cause that seems to have taken some of the blame.
The site has since been closed to the public as the authorities conduct an investigation into what caused the collapse. As the structure came down, it destroyed hundreds of graves, according to a local councilman who heard a noise and saw a "dense cloud of dust." Vincenzo Santagada said, "As an administration, we are taking care of all the necessary formalities," reported The Guardian.
A separate investigation is underway following the collapse of a structure in another cemetery section in January, resulting in the destruction of approximately 300 burial niches. More than 300 tombs were reportedly damaged during that collapse, and the Naples Prosecutor's Office at the time ordered the facility to be closed.
Meanwhile, grieving families of the deceased protested on Tuesday after Monday's collapse. According to reports, 20 persons are now being questioned by authorities about their possible role in the subway construction.
A councilor from Campania said on Facebook that he believed Naples' graves had been neglected for a very long time. Francesco Emilio Borelli, of the Europa Verde party, posted, "It is a critical and unacceptable situation. For too many years the Neapolitan cemeteries have been mismanaged and left to fend for themselves, falling prey to swindlers and profiteers. This is the result."
Two chapels and a portion of a cemetery were demolished by a landslide in February last year, sending 200 coffins into the water off the northern Italian town of Camogli on the Ligurian coast.