Man Falls Into Mount Vesuvius Crater While Taking a Selfie

A US tourist fell into a crater of Mount Vesuvius after taking a forbidden route and scrambling to retrieve his phone.

The 23-year-old man was trying to take a selfie but accidentally dropped his phone and lost his balance while trying to retrieve it, falling into the crater of the Italian volcano, which towers over Naples.

The device reportedly dropped out of his fingers and fell into the volcano’s mouth, Italian journalists said.

According to international media, he and his family managed to get past a visitor barrier and go down an off-limits trail in order to reach the volcano’s 1,281m-high top.

Police and rescue agents rushed to the scene, bringing a rescue helicopter to assist the operation.

The Italian media outlet La Repubblica reported that the Vesuvius guides were the first to arrive on the scene and descended several meters into the volcano’s crater to pull the tourist out.

The man refused to be taken to hospital but was treated for minor injuries, including cuts and bruises on his arms and back, it added.

The US national and his family now face charges related to the incident. Italian police accused them of invading public land since the group did not buy any tickets before venturing to the volcano, a popular tourist spot.

They are all also being investigated for taking a forbidden route to get to the volcano and ignoring all signs saying the road was dangerous.

The Vesuvius volcano, which last erupted in 1944, destroyed the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum after its eruption in AD79. It is considered one of the world’s most dangerous volcanoes due to its proximity to several towns, including Naples, with over 600,000 people living there.

Similar accidents have been reported in the past. In September 2017, a couple and their 11-year-old son died after falling into the Solfatara di Pozzuoli crater. It is one of 40 volcanoes in Naples’ Campi Flegrei western area.

Italian media said at the time that the boy was believed to have fallen into the crater after inhaling fumes and passing out. His parents tried to save him, but it collapsed, killing all of them.