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NAPLES, Italy — Three Naples sailors died and two were seriously burned when their car flipped over and burst into flames early Saturday morning.

Two sailors traveling in another vehicle pulled the two injured women from the burning Alfa Romeo at about 5 a.m. on the Tangenziale, the main highway through Naples, said Lt. Cmdr. Lisa Braun, Naval Support Activity Naples spokeswoman.

Italian and U.S. Navy authorities are investigating the incident. There is no word on whether alcohol was a factor.

“It is not yet known what factors may have contributed to the accident,” Braun said.

The sailors were traveling eastbound in two cars near the Fuorigrotta exit.

One of the two men in the first car looked back and saw that the other car, a four-door Alfa Romeo with five sailors, apparently flipped over. The two sailors stopped and ran to the car, rescuing two women.

“It got to the point where once the car erupted in flames, they could not go back to get any more of the victims,” Braun said.

Though Italian news reported the names of the injured, the base has not released the sailors’ identities, pending notification of next of kin.

Braun said one man who died worked at the Support Site branch dental clinic and another man was assigned to Naval Security Group Activity. The woman who died was assigned to Naval Support Activity Naples.

The two injured women, Naval Support Activity sailors, suffered second-degree burns and are in a burn unit at Cardarelli, a local hospital.

One of the two rescuers, both of whom are assigned to Naval Security Group Activity, was treated and released at the U.S. Naval Hospital for minor lacerations.

It wasn’t known where the sailors were going or where they had been, Braun said.

Italian authorities, base security personnel and U.S. ambulances responded to the scene on the Tangenziale, which is the site of frequent accidents. Italian news stories reported that speeding likely was a factor in the crash, but Braun said, “Nothing like that has been confirmed.”

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