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Road collapses along Arno riverbank in Florence

A stretch of road along Florence's Arno River has collapsed, burying dozens of parked cars. Authorities say a broken water pipe beneath the historic Italian city caused the ground to cave in.

Emergency services evacuated buildings along the riverside avenue Wednesday morning after the burst water main created a sinkhole just a few meters from the world famous Ponte Vecchio bridge.

The damage affected about 200 meters (656 feet) of road along the Arno and cut power and water supplies to the area.

No injuries were reported, but firefighters were working to extract about 20 cars that had fallen into the flooded ditch.

The city's mayor, Dario Nardella, said the underground flooding was caused by a sizeable crack in a major pipeline, not a leak in the banks of the Arno.

nm/kms (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)