11-year-old boy, parents killed in Italian volcanic field

MILAN (AP) — Police in Italy say an 11-year-old boy and his parents died in a steamy volcanic field near Naples that is popular with tourists.

Police said the parents tried to rescue the Italian boy after he entered an off-limits area at the Solfatara Crater in Pozzuoli and slipped Tuesday. It wasn’t immediately clear if they were overcome by gases or molten lava in the area.

preview v00977 11 year old boy, parents killed in Italian volcanic field
Firefighters and police officers stand by an ambulance on the site where three people reportedly died when they fell into a crater in a steamy volcanic field in Pozzuoli, near Naples, Italy, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. Italian news reports say an 11-year-old Italian boy and his parents died in a steamy volcanic field near Naples. ANSA said the parents tried to rescue the boy after he entered an off-limits area at the Solfatara Crater in Pozzuoli, and was overcome by gases, losing consciousness. (Ciro Fusco/ANSA via AP)

The crater is located 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 had risen by about 30 centimeters (12 inches) over a decade.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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