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U.S. tourist, 23, falls into Mount Vesuvius crater after taking a selfie — and survives

Philip Carroll on Saturday dropped his phone into the volcano crater, which is nearly 1,000 feet deep, and got stuck going after it. Guides used a long rope to pull him to safety.
Vesuvio Volcano crater, Campania
An aerial view of the Mount Vesuvius crater in Campania, Italy.De Agostini / via Getty Images

A 23-year-old Maryland man was rescued over the weekend after falling into the crater of Mount Vesuvius in Italy while taking a selfie.

The man, identified as Philip Carroll, visited the famed volcano, notorious for destroying the Roman city of Pompeii and blanketing it with ash in A.D. 79, with two family members on Saturday, according to Paolo Cappelli, the president of the Presidio Permanente Vesuvio, a base at the top of Vesuvius where guides operate from. 

The family hiked up Vesuvius from the town of Ottaviano and accessed the top of the volcano through a forbidden trail, Cappelli told NBC News over the phone.

The man, identified as Philip Carroll, was badly injured in the fall.
The man, identified as Philip Carroll, was badly injured in the fall.Guide Vulcanologiche Vesuvio

"This family took another trail, closed to tourists, even if there was a small gate and 'no access' signs," Cappelli said.

When the family reached the top of the over 4,000-feet-high volcano, Carroll stopped to take a selfie and his phone fell into the crater. 

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

"He was very lucky. If he kept going, he would have plunged 300 meters into the crater,” he added.

Vesuvius' cone-shaped crater has a depth of 300 meters, or nearly 1,000 feet, and a diameter of 450 meters, or nearly 1,500 feet.

Carroll suffered scratches and cuts to his arms and back in the fall.

Guides from Presidio Permanente Vesuvio saw what happened with binoculars from the opposite side of the rim and rushed to help Carroll. They used a long rope to pull him to safety.

A video shared on Instagram on Sunday, posted by someone who appears to be Carroll’s brother, shows the view from the top of Vesuvius. A voice is heard saying, “We hiked to the top of a literal f------ volcano!”

Carroll was taken into custody by the local Carabinieri police, Cappelli said.

It's not immediately clear what charges he faces.

NBC News has reached out to Carroll and his family for comment.