Family die after falling into volcanic crater in Italy

An 11-year-old boy and his parents have died in a steamy volcanic field near Naples, police said.

Officers said the parents tried to rescue the boy after he entered an off-limits area at the Solfatara Crater in Pozzuoli, near Naples, and slipped.

It was not immediately clear if the Italian family were overcome by gases or molten lava.

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.

The fields are scorching hot only a few inches below the surface.

Geologists monitor the area by checking temperatures and chemically analyzing gases, determining that the fields have risen by about 12 inches over a decade.

Rescuers stand on the site where three people reportedly died when they fell into a crater in a steamy volcanic field in Pozzuoli, near Naples, Italy, today.

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