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Volcanic Crater Near Naples a Deathtrap for Boy, Parents

Image: Volcanic Crater Near Naples a Deathtrap for Boy, Parents

The Solfatara of Pozzuoli (Francosant/Dreamstime)

By    |   Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 09:37 AM

Three family members died after falling into a volcanic crater near Naples, Italy, Tuesday morning.

An 11-year-old boy had wandered into a prohibited area and fell into a crater at Solfatara di Pozzuoli, one of 40 volcanoes in the Campi Flegrei area west of Naples, The Guardian reported, citing Italian press reports.

The boy's parents tried to save him but the crater collapsed, The Guardian wrote. Authorities said they believe the child fainted because of the gas fumes before falling into the crater.

The family's 7-year-old son ran for helped and did not fall into the crater, The Guardian stated.

"Either there was a small explosion, or the ground simply gave way from their weight, and they fell into this hole," national fire brigade spokesman Luca Cari told the media, according to The Guardian.

Firefighters said the family, which were from Turin, appeared to have died from asphyxia, possibly because of hot gases emanating from the ground.

The Solfatara of Pozzuoli is one of a grouping of ancient volcanoes that make up the Campi Flegrei supervolcano, an area north of Naples in southwestern Italy, the Daily Mail noted. The volcanic site, which Romans believed was the home of the god Vulcan in Roman mythology, is popular among tourists.

Solfatara's crater fields are scorching hot only a few inches below the surface and last erupted in 1198, the Daily Mail said.

Some witnesses said they were pulled away after the 7-year-old tried to find someone to help his family, the Daily Mail reported.

"I saw a child run crying, I did not think I was facing the worst tragedy of my life," witness Diego Vitagliano told reporters, according to the Daily Mail. "'I was at the Solfatara for work, along with other visitors we realized that something had happened and we approached the crater. … I did not imagine what I would see.

"They pulled out two bodies, then pulled us away. I continue to think about that family and that poor baby crying and asking for help," Vitagliano continued.

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Three family members died after falling into a volcanic crater near Naples, Italy, Tuesday morning.
volcanic, crater, naples, deathtrap
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2017-37-13
Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 09:37 AM
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