The roof of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami, a historic church built on the remains on an ancient prison on Rome's Capitoline Hill, caved in suddenly on Thursday, causing severe damage but no injuries.
No one is reported to have been inside the church at the time of the collapse mid-afternoon, though firefighters and sniffer dogs were called to comb the wreckage as a precaution.
A priest who was inside an adjoining building is said to be uninjured. Around three-quarters of the church roof is believed to have fallen in. A crane was used to remove remaining parts that emergency teams judged to be unstable, while the area around the church was cordoned off.
It is not yet clear what caused the collapse, which is reported to have sent up a large cloud of dust visible from some distance.
Images from the scene showed the church open to the elements, beams and rubble covering its floor. Source