Mount Etna explosion caught on camera

Mount Etna erupts

The blast is what's known as a phreatomagmatic eruption caused by extremely hot lava hitting much colder snow.

Amongst those hurt were members of a television crew filming for the BBC.

On Twitter, the BBC's Morelle said: "Caught up in incident at Mount Etna - BBC crew & tourists caught up in huge explosion - caused injuries and evacuation from scene". Loud bangs are heard and a piece of debris lands in the snow right next to Price as people begin to scream and scramble for safety from the super-heated rocks and steam raining down on them.

"Many injured - some head injuries, burns, cuts and bruises".

A volcanologist accompanying Morelle described the incident as the most unsafe in his 30-year career.

BBC shared the footage from their journalists on Etna - all of whom are safe and suffering from only minor injuries - in the clip below.

Tourists, journalists and scientists hoping for a better look at Europe's most-active volcano were in for a shock as it suddenly erupted on Thursday.


Travellers are advised to visit the Italian Civil Protection website for more information.

Ms Morelle said everyone on the mountain was quickly evacuated by rescue teams and guides who were "brilliant".

But as the BBC's Morelle observed on Twitter, Thursday's event served as a "reminder of how unsafe and unpredictable volcanoes can be".

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

Sicily's volcano had been putting on a show in recent days, with a new lava flow starting from the south-eastern crater on Wednesday.

The lava flows reached temperatures of 1,000C, according to volcanologists.

In the video rubble can be seen being thrown into the air as people try to distance themselves from the growing steam cloud.

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