Turin family killed in crater fall

Solfatara a Pozzuoli

 NAPLES- Three people have died in a fall at the crater of Solfatara a Pozzuoli in Campania, Tuesday. They are all members of the same family from Turin, father, 45, mother, 42 and son, 11. The youngest son, seven, was pulled to safety and survived. 

 According to reports, the 11-year-old son had gone beyond the allowed limits, near to the crater, and into a zone of “sinking sands”. This area is made up of unstable soil where strong gas fumes are given out which can cause people to fall unconscious.

 In attempting to help his son, the father got pulled in too as did the mother, in trying to save her husband.

 Sources from the civil protection service confirmed that a crater had apparently opened up beneath the victims’ feet and that they had fallen three meters beneath the soil, ending up in very hot water. Here they would have all suffocated by the toxic fumes.

 The emergency services commented that it was “impossible” to put any rescue operation into place. Apparently the 118 team were alerted at 12:07 by the Solfatara Direction. Asl explained that they didn’t have details of the severity of the situation. “Central operations sent an advanced ambulance with a doctor on board to the scene, with the possibility of sending other relief if needed” it was reported.

 The doctors, from the hospital of Santa Maria delle Grazie di Pozzuoli confirmed that it was “impossible to put any rescue into place”.

 Firemen have since recovered the remains of the three dead and fenced off the area so that police and magistrates can carry out necessary investigations.

Solfatara (from late Latin Sulpha Terra meaning land of sulphur) is a site where you can visit boiling water up close with its vapours and steaming mud, and is one of the main attractions of the Phlegrean Fields. Known for its characteristically strong rotten egg-like smell, the earth, tormented by fire, creates surreal scenes of unimaginable colours displaying dramatic geysers, springs of gas, and bursts of hot mud and seismic tremors. The site, managed by a private company, remains closed to the public until further notice.