Six Men Climb into Volcano Crater in Job Loss Protest
Six men climbed down into the crater of a volcano in Italy on Monday, in protest at the closure of the organization they worked for which maintained trekking paths on Mount Vesuvius, near Naples.
The men have said they will stay as long as it takes and have positioned themselves on a projection of rock about 10 meters (32 feet) below the crater's entrance, where they risk being crushed by a rock-fall.
Their former colleagues have been winching food and water down to them.
The men were among 55 people who lost their jobs in 2008 when the "Vesuvius, Nature and Work" cooperation was closed due to lack of regional funding, and the final salary they were paid at the end of their contracts has now run out.
"They will stay there until the Campania region gives us an answer or a sign," a local union representative, Ciro Fusco, told ANSA news agency.
The six demonstrators climbed down into the crater at dawn. Security services were at the scene.
Vesuvius National Park consists of around 135 square kilometres (52 square miles) of rare natural beauty in the Bay of Naples. The volcano, which is covered in rare plants and wildlife, last erupted in 1944.
Italy's public safety chief has warned that when Mount Vesuvius wakes up from its long slumber it will threaten more than a million people.
Its most famous eruption was in 79 AD when it buried the Roman city of Pompeii.