Friday, 24 March, 2017

BBC team among those injured in Mount Etna eruption

VIDEO See the latest eruptions at Etna Europe's most active volcano Tourists hit by lava and boiling rocks as Mount Etna explodes
Mae Harvey | 17 March, 2017, 01:30

Tourists, who were drawn to Etna to observe the spectacle of the active volcano erupting, were caught by surprise when its flowing magma hit thick snow, causing a phreatic explosion that rained rock and other material down upon them.

The BBC reports Mount Etna is Europe's tallest active volcano, and they said it spewed lava into the sky Thursday morning, marking the third such event in three weeks.

Nobody was badly injured but six people were taken to hospital, Ansa, the Italian news agency, reported.

"Some head injuries, burns, cuts and bruises", our correspondent tweeted. "Volcanologist said most risky incident experience in his 30 year career", Morelle tweeted.

Lava flow mixed with steam is believed to have caused the explosion.

The south-east crater on Mt Etna has been erupting for several days.

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Rebecca Morelle and her BBC team were caught up in the explosion.

Morelle added that among the injured was a 78-year-old woman who was very close to the source of the explosion, but safely got away.

Both eruptions were classed as "Strombolian" activity by volcanologists.

Morelle said a big ash cloud was visible above Etna and the plume from the explosion was visible a long way off.

Several tourists have been injured as Mount Etna erupted for the third time in just under three weeks, spitting molten lava almost 650 feet into the sky above Sicily.

Ten people were hurt but remarkably no one was killed when Sicily's Mount Etna blew its top overnight, forcing those nearby into a panicked flight back towards the nearby city of Catania.

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