An American tourist cheated death at Italy’s legendary Mount Vesuvius after he dropped his phone into the volcano while taking a selfie and then fell in while trying to reach it, according to reports.
The 23-year-old tourist was pulled out of the once-fiery hole and treated for minor injuries, but now faces charges for being on a path that was closed off. Local guides had to rappel down to get him, and a chopper was also used to take him for treatment in the July 9 incident.
Three relatives who were with the man also face charges for “invasion of public land,” after they allegedly climbed to the top of the 4,000-foot volcano without tickets and then took a path that was clearly marked as forbidden. Reports said the man was taking a selfie when he dropped the phone.
Tourist rescued after falling into Mount Vesuvius while trying to reach phone https://t.co/n1SnhwvqLs
— Sky News (@SkyNews) July 11, 2022
When Mount Vesuvius erupted in the year 79, it destroyed the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. It is still considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world due to its proximity to populated areas including Naples that number more than 700,000 people.
The volcano has not seen any major eruptions since a 1944 blast, but is considered active and still belches out steam and gas on occasion. The crater summit is particularly dangerous because its walls are comprised of steep cliffs and volcanic rock fragments of rocky debris.
Volcanoes don’t have to erupt to be deadly. In 2017, an 11-year-old boy and his parents all died when they fell into the crater of Solfatara di Pozzuoli, one of several volcanoes in the Campi Flegrei area near Naples. The boy reportedly fainted from gas fumes and fell in and when his parents tried to save him, the crater collapsed.
In 2019, a 32-year-old man was badly hurt after climbing over a barrier around the crater of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano. He lost his footing and fell some 70 feet down, where he was rescued. And in January, a 75-year-old man fell into the same crater and died.