Family die falling into volcano crater

Violet Powell
September 13, 2017

An 11-year-old Italian boy and his parents have died after tumbling into a muddy, gaseous cravasse which opened up at the volcanic crater they were visiting near Naples.

The boy's mother, 42, and father, 45, tried to pull him to safety only for the base of the crater to collapse.

The family of four from northeastern Italy was on vacation in Pozzuoli, viewing the sulfurous Solfatara crater.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.

Firefighters said the family, which were from Turin, appeared to have died from asphyxia, possibly because of hot gases emanating from the ground. Authorities said they believe the child fainted because of the gas fumes before falling into the crater.

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The boy slipped after breaching a fence surrounding the Solfatara Crater in Pozzuoli and his parents followed in an attempt to rescue their son, police said. They've determined the fields had risen by about 12 inches over a decade.

Eye-witness Diego Vitagliano told Naples: 'I saw a child run crying, I did not think I was facing the worst tragedy of my life, I'm a father too. A tragedy, they pulled out two bodies, then pulled us away.

Eyewitnesses reported arriving at the scene to see the young boy crying and asking for help.

The family are believed to have died from inhaling the extremely hot, gaseous fumes emitted by the volcano. "I express my closeness from the community of Pozzuoli to the victims' family", he said.

It was formed around 4000 years ago - and last erupted in 1198.

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