It was short after 6 o’ clock in Friday afternoon, when people heard a loud noise. Then they saw a huge gaping hole to have swallowed three cars. Residents in the south Athens suburb of Tavros could not believe their eyes to see the huge hole to have opened in the big open parking area outside the urban train station ISAP (Metro Line 1) with the same name.
A woman who reportedly had parked next to these cars had just got in the car with her two young children and was leaving the parking when the unbelievable happened.
Hundreds of people use the big parking space outside the train station on daily basis as it offers a and free park-and-ride opportunity for commuters, a rarity in Athens.
According to news website newsit.gr, a new occurred also in another area of the parking place.
The news was confirmed later by state broadcaster ERT whose reporter spoke of “soil settling a couple of meters away.”
According to some media, the mayor of Kallithea has urged motorists to remove their cars fearing further collapse.
Equally surprised must have been also the authorities…
The parking was reportedly built in 1987 and thus over part of the riverbed of Ilissos, which in modern Athens is largely channeled underground.
Municipality teams, one of the deputy mayors and state technical teams have rushed to the spot trying to identify the cause of the collapse.
The parking does not belong to municipality but to the state.
ERT TV said locals urge all those in charge to conduct checks also in other areas where the river runs underground saying that there are sports facilities etc built above the river.
The three car owners are reportedly seeking who is in charge of the parking in order to claim compnesation.
According to ANT1 TV, the collapse occurred most probably due to the heavy rains in recent times.
To tell you the truth, the area did not have “much too many heavy rains recently.”
PS knowing the Greek realities, I could put my last cents rather on reasons called “public construction works”…