Europe

Mount Etna explosion injures at least 10

Raw video: Europe's largest and most active volcano shoots debris into air

 

Volcanic rocks and steam injured at least 10 people – including tourists and scientists – following an explosion on Sicily’s Mount Etna on Thursday, Italian media reported.

Those injured – reportedly including BBC crew members, tourists and a 78-year-old woman – suffered from head injuries, burns, cuts and bruises, though none of the ailments were thought to be serious. Six people were recovering in the nearby Catania and Acireale hospitals, Il Corriere reported.

Tourists had been drawn to Etna to observe the spectacle of the active volcano erupting, only to be caught by surprise when spewing magma hit snow, causing an explosion.

The president of the Italian Alpine Club chapter in Catania, Umberto Marino, was traveling up the volcano in a snowcat when injured people started running in his direction.

“The material thrown into the air fell back down, striking the heads and bodies of people who were closest," Marino was quoted by the Catania Today website as saying.

The BBC's global science reporter, Rebecca Morelle, also was on the mountain, and described the experience in a series of tweets.

“Running down a mountain pelted by rocks, dodging burning boulders and boiling steam— not an experience I ever ever want to repeat," she wrote.

The BBC crew was shaken, but physically OK, having suffered cuts, bruises and burns, she wrote.

Morelle said the explosion was "a reminder of how dangerous (and) unpredictable volcanoes can be."

Mount Etna has been active for the past two days, creating a visual spectacle as it spews lava and ash into the air. A new lava flow started from the southeastern crater on Wednesday.

Fox News’ Courtney Walsh and The Associated Press contributed to this report.