A couple and their 11-year-old son have fallen to their deaths in a volcanic crater in Italy as their seven-year-old boy stood nearby.
The tragedy unfolded when the older son, Lorenzo, walked into a prohibited area at Solfatara and stumbled into the crater.
The boy’s father, Massimiliano Carrer, from Meolo in northern Italy, then attempted to save his son, only for the ground to give way under him, causing him to fall into a 5ft crater and be overcome by fumes.
Finally the mother, Tiziana Zaramella, 42, rushed in to save them, only to suffer the same fate when the crater collapsed.
The steamy volcanic fields at Solfatara are scorching hot only a few inches below the surface and they are understood to have died of asphyxia, possibly because of hot gases.
However, the official cause of death will be determined by an autopsy.
Another of the couple’s sons, seven-year-old Alessio, survived amid reports he was able to scramble to safety.
The devastating misfortune befell the family as they were enjoying the final day of their holiday before their young sons were due to return to school tomorrow.
ms: Tiziana Zaramella (left) and her son Lorenzo (right) have died after falling into a volcanic crater. The steamy volcanic fields at Solfatara are scorching hot only a few inches below the surface and they are understood to have died of asphyxia, possibly because of hot gases
Horror: The victims can be seen spread out on the floor and covered in green blankets as men carry coffins towards them after the tragedy
Shocking: The devastating misfortune befell the family as they were enjoying the final day of their holiday before their young sons were due to return to school tomorrow
The tragedy is believed to have unfolded when the boy walked into a prohibited area at Solfatara near Naples in the country’s south west
The accident happened at the Bocca Grande (Big Mouth), the largest of the fumaroles in the area, which the ancient Romans called the home of the God of fire. Men can be seen carrying the bodies away in coffins after the tragedy
The Solfatara volcano is one of many volcanic craters in the Campi Flegrei area, 20 12 miles west of Naples, which first opened up to tourists in 1900, according to its website. Pictured: The bodies are carried away by men who brought coffins
An 11-year-old boy and his parents have been killed after falling into a volcanic crater in Italy, it has emerged
The boy’s mother, 42, and father, 45, tried to pull him to safety only for the base of the crater to collapse. They are understood to have fallen 5ft but it is not yet known whether they were killed by the fall or by toxic gas fumes. Three body bags were later pictured at the scene
However, separate reports claim he did not enter the prohibited area at all.
Local reports have named the victims as engineer Massimiliano Carrer, his wife and Venice Airport worker Tiziana Zaramella and their son Lorenzo.
Fire brigade spokesman Luca Cari said: ‘Either there was a small explosion, or the ground simply gave way from their weight, and they fell into this hole. It was inside a fenced-off area.’
Eyewitnesses reported arriving at the scene to find a young boy crying and asking for help. Emergency crews descended on the site within minutes.