An 11-year-old boy and his parents died in a steamy volcanic field near Naples, according to Italian police.
Police said the parents tried to rescue the boy after he entered an off-limits area at the Solfatara Crater in Pozzuoli and slipped.
It wasn't immediately clear if they were overcome by gases or molten lava in the area.
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 analysing gases.
The fields are believed to have risen by about 12 inches over the past decade.