US tourist survives fall into Mount Vesuvius after reaching for phone

(CNN) — An American tourist fell into the crater of Mount Vesuvius in an attempt to retrieve his mobile phone at the weekend, Italian police told CNN on Monday.

The 23-year-old man from Baltimore was hiking an unauthorized trail accompanied by three relatives on Saturday morning, the carabinieri of the provincial command of Naples said. Two British tourists were also spotted walking on the forbidden trail.

Following the fall, the man reported only a few bruises on his hands, arms and back.

He was treated by an ambulance that arrived on the scene, but he did not want to go to the hospital, police said.

The path had clear signs warning of danger and forbidden access, according to the force, which added that the prosecutor will decide whether to proceed with a formal charge against them for invasion of public territory.

The last eruption of Mount Vesuvius took place in 1944. It is still active, but is in a state of repose, according to the Vesuvius National Park website.

The mountain’s highest peak reaches 1,277 meters (4,190 feet), while the crater has a diameter of 450 meters (1,476 feet) and is 300 meters (984 feet) deep, the national park’s website adds.

Vesuvius had been a dormant volcano for centuries before it erupted in 79 AD, burying cities like Pompeii, Oplontis and Stabiae beneath ash.

Pompeii was submerged under a 23-foot-deep layer of volcanic debris, which preserved the ruins from the detrimental effects of weather and climate. It has since become a popular tourist destination, as well as a rich site of study for archaeologists.

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