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When Vacations Go Wrong
Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:33pm

Family dies after falling in volcanic crater near Naples

An 11-year-old Italian boy and his parents died after falling into a popular volcanic crater near Naples on Tuesday, the boy slipping and falling to his doom and both parents getting sucked into hot mud trying to save him.

Police said the parents were trying to rescue the boy after he entered an off-limits area at the Solfatara Crater in Pozzuoli and slipped.

The boy's 45-year-old father attempted to pull him up and was sucked into hot mud, ANSA reported. When the boy's 42-year-old mother tried to save her husband, she was also sucked in.

The couple's other son, a 7-year-old boy, managed to get to safety.

A witness to the incident told la Repubblica newspaper he saw the 7 year old crying and asking for help.

"I saw a child run crying, I did not think I was facing the worst tragedy of my life, I'm a father, too," Diego Vitagliano said.

Authorities said it wasn't immediately clear if the family was overcome by gases or molten lava in the area, The Associated Press reported.

The crater is located in the Phlegraen Fields, a sprawling constellation of ancient volcanic craters frequented by Italian school children and tourists from around the world. The fields are scorching hot only a few inches below the surface.

"I've been here for forty years and such an accident has never happened," Armando Guerriero, owner of a nearby bar located near the entrance to the volcano, told ANSA.

Geologists monitor the area by checking temperatures and chemically analyzing gases. They've determined the fields had risen by about 12 inches over a decade.

    • How Sad.... ~ Deanna, Tue Sep 12 4:35pm
      Those incidents happen ever so often at Yellowstone Park it sits on a volcano too....amazing, as in Yellowstone there are many signs warning to stay OFF....or AWAY!
      • I don't understand that. ~ shadow, Tue Sep 12 4:41pm
        I've only been atop one volcano - in Nicaragua - and I could not get away from it soon enough. It must be nice to be so fearless, or maybe it's just thoughtless. When you know what it is,... more
        • To Look At Some Of Those Pools... ~ Deanna, Tue Sep 12 4:58pm
          in Yellowstone.....they do not look that hot..... But,if a person is thinking...which, many don't....they would never get close to a pool in Yellowstone.... It is an instant fry....:(
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