Published: Fri, March 17, 2017
Markets | By Terence Owen

Ten injured as BBC crew caught up in Mount Etna eruption

Ten injured as BBC crew caught up in Mount Etna eruption

A BBC television crew and a number of tourists have been injured by fiery molten lava after venturing up an erupting Mount Etna. Six people are reported to have been taken to nearby hospitals in Catania and Acireale.

BBC science journalist Rebecca Morelle said on Twitter her crew was hit by steam and boiling rocks.

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

Neri said Etna has been erupting from its south-east crater and eventually reached an area called Belvedere that was covered in snow.

Volcanologist Boris Behncke, part of the expedition, also received minor injuries to his head during what he described as a "violent explosion".

Guides and rescue teams led everyone off the mountain, she said.

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Lava flow mixed with steam had caused a huge explosion, which pelted the group with boiling rocks and steam, she said.

Fortunately, she said, everyone at the volcano escaped with their lives and without serious injuries.

The USGS says phreatic eruptions can generate "an explosion of steam, water, ash, blocks, and bombs" as surface water is heated by lava as hot as 2,100 degrees.

Mount Etna, a stratovolcano located on the east coast of the island of Sicily, has been regularly erupting since as far back as 1500 B.C., making it the longest erupting volcano on Earth.

Mount Etna, Europe's most active volcano, is shown here erupting February 28, 2017.

Volcanologists later said the eruptive phase was "diminishing", the Mirror of the United Kingdom reported.

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