Rescuers were unable to do anything to help the family of three (Picture: EPA)
According to a Metro UK report, about three members of the same family have died after they fell into a volcanic crater near Naples, Italy.
One of the children is believed to have fallen into the Solfatara crater at Pozzuoli and their mother, 42, and father, 45, went to help.
However they also got into difficulties and are said to have died instantly.
It is not yet known if the family died as a result of the extreme temperatures in the volcano, or the fumes being emitted.
A second child, seven, managed to escape to safety while emergency crews rushed to the scene.
They are believed to have crossed through a safety barrier preventing people from getting to the crater.
Rescuers stand on the site near the crater (Picture: Ciro Fusco/ANSA via AP)
According to local reports, the family were from Turin in Italy.
Eye-witness Diego Vitagliano told R.it Naples: ‘I saw a child run crying, I did not think I was facing the worst tragedy of my life, I’m a father too.
‘I was at the Solfatara for work, along with other visitors we realised that something had happened and we approached the crater. I did not imagine what I would see.
‘[It is] a tragedy. They pulled out two bodies, then pulled us away. I continue to think about that family and that poor boy crying and asking for help.’
Local mayor Vincenzo Figliolia said he was ‘upset’ following the tragedy.
He expressed his ‘closeness from the community’ to the family of the victims.
The Solfatara crater is a dormant volcano which still emits jets of steam filled with sulphurous fumes.
It was formed around 4,000 years ago – and last erupted in 1198.