Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Boy, 11, and parents die after falling into volcanic crater near Naples

Boy, 11, and parents die after falling into volcanic crater near Naples

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.

An Italian couple and their 11-year-old son died in a freak accident on Tuesday when they fell into a 10ft-deep hole that suddenly opened up in a highly active volcanic area near Naples.

A boy aged 11 is believed to have crossed a safety barrier before tumbling into the Solfatara Crater at Pozzuoli, near Naples.

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When they tried to pull him to safety, the crater's base collapsed and they both fell just 1.5m (5ft). However, this has not yet been confirmed by authorities and nor is the cause of death, though it is likely the three died from inhaling gas fumes.

A second boy - who was seven years of age - managed to scramble to safety as shocked tourists and emergency crews rushed to the scene.

"He didn't know whether they were alive or dead".

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

The Campi Flegrei is an area with more than 30 volcanic craters, whose possible eruptions worry scientists.

They added that it was not immediately clear if the family had been killed by gases or molten lava.

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