A BOY of 11 and his parents died when they fell into a volcanic sinkhole.
The tragedy is thought to have unfolded when the youngster wandered into a fenced-off area at Italy’s Solfatara Crater, at Pozzuoli, near Naples.
The boy’s parents went to get him back but the smouldering ground collapsed beneath him and his father, plunging both of them into a scorching hot 5ft hole of toxic gas.
It is thought the mother then fell as she tried to rescue them.
The tragedy was witnessed by the couple’s other son, aged seven, who ran away in tears. Emergency teams were on the scene quickly but were unable to save the family.
Witness Diego Vitagliano said: ‘I saw a child run away crying, I did not realise at first that I was facing the worst tragedy of my life.’
Café owner Armando Warrior helped comfort the surviving boy, named as Alessio. He told the Il Mattino newspaper: ‘The child was crying, was upset and kept calling his mother’s name.’
He added: ‘I’ve worked here for 40 years and I’ve never seen an accident like this at Solfatara before.’
The family were named as engineer Massimiliano Carrer, 45, his partner Tiziana Zampella, 42, and their son, Lorenzo, from Meolo, near Venice.
Solfatara Crater last erupted in 1198.
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