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Italian couple and son die at Solfatara volcano crater

  • 12 September 2017
  • From the section Europe

Rescuers arrive at Solfatara di Pozzuoli where three people died in the crater at Pozzuoli, Naples, Italy, 12 September 2017Image copyright EPA
Image caption Rescuers quickly reached the scene but were unable to help the child and his parents

A boy and his parents have died after falling into a volcanic crater at Solfatara near Naples.

What happened is still unclear, but Italian reports suggest the drama unfolded when the 11-year-old walked into a prohibited area.

When his parents tried to pull him to safety, the crater’s base collapsed and they fell 1.5m (5ft). It is not known if they died from the gas fumes.

Their seven-year-old son did not enter the crater and survived.

The family was visiting from Turin in northern Italy, reports said. The parents were both in their forties.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption The hole in the crater was visible along with the chains that rescuers had used to reach the three victims

Solfatara of Pozzuoli is one of a number of volcanoes to the west of Naples and is popular with tourists.

A dormant volcano that last erupted in 1198, it has a shallow crater and is known for its sulphurous fumes and emissions of steam.

The area where they fell is known for a type of quicksand, where the ground is prone to crumbling.

A local worker at the site, Diego Vitagliano, said the accident was the worst thing he had seen in his life.

BBC News – World

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