Naples cemetery collapse leaves coffins hanging

Naples cemetery collapse leaves coffins hanging in mid-air


The second Naples cemetery collapse of this year has left coffins hanging in the air. Critics blame poor management for the event.  

The city council ordered the closure of Poggioreale Monumental Cemetery. Following the collapse of a four-storey building containing burial niches, at least a dozen coffins are dangling over the void.

Poggioreale is the oldest and biggest cemetery in Naples. It is the second incident at the cemetery this year. Fortunately, there were no visitors when the incident occurred on Monday afternoon as the cemetery had closed for the day.

The marble building, called the Resurrection, is in the cemetery’s Porta Balestrieri area.

“The collapse was preceded by a bang and a dense cloud of dust,” said Vincenzo Santagada, a Naples councillor responsible for cemeteries. “As an administration we are taking care of all the necessary formalities.”

A separate investigation is underway following an earlier incident. The collapse of a building in another area of the cemetery in January destroyed another 300 burial niches.

Protest by families of the dead

Families of the dead held a protest on Tuesday. Italy’s Dire newspaper reported Maurizio Boddi, whose wife, parents and in-laws are buried in niches in the building, as saying, “The only fortunate thing is that their [coffins] haven’t fallen out, as they are [buried] more inside [the building].”

Francesco Emilio Borelli, a regional councillor for the Europa Verde (Europe Greens) party, wrote on Facebook: “There has been a new collapse at the Poggioreale cemetery. This is a critical and unacceptable situation. For too many years, cemeteries in Naples have been badly managed and left to fend for themselves, falling prey to swindlers and profiteers.”

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