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A tourist from the United States fell into the active volcano Mount Vesuvius in Italy on Saturday while trying to take a selfie.

American Tourist Falls Into Mount Vesuvius 

ABC News reported that an unidentified 23-year-old man from Baltimore, Maryland had dropped his phone while attempting to take a selfie and was trying to retrieve it when he fell several meters into the ash of the crater. Luckily for him, he sustained only minor injuries, but he had to be rescued by park officials. 

A spokesperson from the Carabinieri of the Forestry department of the Park of Vesuvius claimed that the man walked on an unauthorized path to reach the summit of Mount Vesuvius at 1,281 meters. This spokesperson went on to add that the man likely did this because tickets for visiting Vesuvius, which are limited to 2,700 a day, were all booked.

The man allegedly had come to the opposite side of the crater, where visitors are not allowed to go, according to the spokesperson. The park’s volcanological guides spotted individuals on the upper part of the crater, where tourists are not permitted, at around 3 PM. They immediately rushed to the area in question and were able to rescue the man after he attempted to retrieve his cellphone. 

CNN reported that the man was treated for a few bruises on his hands, arms, and back after his rescue. While he was treated by an ambulance at the scene, he did not have to go to the hospital. 

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Man And Others Hit With Charges

The guides said that two other Americans, two Brits and one Austrian were with the man when he fell. While local sources had said that three family members were with him, the spokesperson said that only one of the other Americans is believed to be related to the man who fell. 

The man and those who were with him were charged with encroachment on public land or land for public use after being taken into custody by the Branch of Carabinieri. Paolo Cappelli, the president of the Volcano Vesuvius Permanent Presidium and Figav-Confesercenti, praised the guides for their quick actions.

“[The guides] are always on the crater to safeguard the safety of tourists,” Cappelli said. “So, recognizing the promptness and professionalism shown on this occasion as well seemed the right thing to do.”

“Having spoken directly with those who provided the rescue, I can safely say that last Saturday on Mount Vesuvius they saved a human life,” he continued. “I officially thank the whole group of guides belonging to the Presidio Permanente Vulcano Vesuvio, always ready and operational in any condition.”

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Tourist Could Have Fallen 300 Meters

Another spokesperson for the Carabinieri of the Forestry department of the Park of Vesuvius told reporters that the man could have fallen 300 meters, had the guides not stopped him in time, as there are no barriers around the opening where he was. While this spokesperson claimed that it is extremely rare that visitors stray from the authorized path, Cappelli said that it actually happens around ten times per year.

Officials say that the man will likely have to pay a fine, but probably will not face any further legal actions. Perhaps he will be more careful when it comes to taking selfies in the future! 

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