An 11-year-old boy, his 42-year-old mother, and his 45-year-old father have all perished in a tragic accident. The family, on vacation from Turin, Italy, were visiting the Solfatara volcano, one of 40 volcanoes that make up the Flegrei Fields in Italy, which is a very popular tourist destination.
The 11-year-old boy appears to have crossed a safety barrier before falling into the crater. His mother and father were killed as they rushed after him in an attempt to save their young son, but unfortunately fell in as well. The volcano, although inactive, spews sulfur fumes and is surrounded by areas of quicksand which makes walking in the area surrounding the crater dangerous because the ground can quickly become unstable.
The volcano which formed in roughly 2000 BC hasn't erupted since late in the 12th century.
A silver lining, if there is one to be had, is that their 7-year-old son seems to have survived the ordeal unscathed. It is still too early to tell if the family succumbed to the fumes escaping from the crater, or if they perished being dragged down into the quicksand inside the hole.
The Pozzuoli community is shocked and saddened by this tragic chain of events. Armando Guerriero, who owns a bar near the entrance of the volcano, said, "I've been here for 40 years and such an accident has never happened."
Emergency crews made it to the scene within minutes but there was nothing that could be done. It quickly became a retrieval operation.
"I'm upset about what happened inside the Solfatara volcano," said mayor Vincenzo Figliolia. "I express my condolences from the community of Pozzuoli to the family of the victims."
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family as they deal with this tragedy.