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U.S. tourist tumbles into Mount Vesuvius after trying to snap selfie

(NEXSTAR) – A 23-year-old Maryland man is recovering after he fell into the crater of Mount Vesuvius while trying to recover his cellphone, according to local media and police.

Philip Carroll was hiking with two relatives on the 4,203-foot volcano in Campania, Italy, Saturday when he took a trail marked with a “no access” sign that had been closed to tourists, Paolo Cappelli, president of the Presidio Permanente Vesuvio base told NBC News.

When they reached the rim of the volcano, Carroll paused to take a selfie but lost his grip on his phone, which fell into the famed volcano.

“He tried to recover it, but slipped and slid a few meters into the crater,” Cappelli told NBC. “He managed to stop his fall, but at that point he was stuck.”

Cappelli said if Carroll kept going he would have plunged nearly 1,000 feet into the crater.

Mount Vesuvius guides spotted Carroll and another relative using binoculars, and rushed to the site of the fall after realizing Carroll had fallen, according to local newspaper Il Mattino. Four guides lowered a rope roughly 50 feet to rescue Carroll, who suffered multiple bruises to his legs, arms and back.

Local police took Carroll into custody, Il Mattino reports, but it’s not clear what charges he may face.

Mount Vesuvius last erupted in 1944 and is considered an active volcano in a state of repose, according to the park’s website. The volcano, which is known for the 79 AD eruption that buried the city of Pompeii, is also a popular destination for archaeologists.


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