Parents, 11-Year-Old Die at Volcanic Crater in Italy

14 September, 2017, 01:27 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • The tragedy occurred at the crater of Solfatara di Pozzuoli near Naples

The family was visiting Solfatara, a shallow volcanic crater frequented by tourists, on Tuesday when the boy wandered into a restricted area and slipped into a almost three-metre-deep pit, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

The Sun reports that the three victims were 45-year-old Massimiliano Carrer, 42-year-old Tiziana Zaramella and 11-year-old Lorenzo.

The three-metre-deep pit opened up as the mother and father followed their son, who is thought to have entered an area forbidden to visitors, and the bodies were later recovered by firefighters.

The tragic youngster crossed a safety barrier before tumbling into the Solfatara Crater at Pozzuoli, near Naples, Italy. "[But] it was inside a fenced-off area", Emergency service spokesperson Luca Cari said.

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The couple has a 7-year-old son, who survived.

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 was at the Solfatara for work, along with other visitors we realized that something had happened and we approached the crater".

The crater is in the Phlegraen Fields, a sprawling constellation of ancient volcanic craters frequented by Italian school children and tourists from around the world.

"I've been here for 40 years and such an accident has never happened", Armando Guerriero, owner of the bar, said to ANSA.

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Authorities believe they died because of exposure to the hot gasses only inches under the surface.

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

Although the Solfatara crater is dormant - last erupting in 1198 - it emits jets of steam and sulphurous fumes. "When the two combine, they form an overwhelming cloud of sulfuric acid, which can render a person unconscious within mere moments".

A full autopsy of the three victims is still to be carried out.

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