- At least three volcanologists were on the volcano when the explosion occurred just before noon, reports say
- BBC’s global science correspondent, Rebecca Morelle, escaped the eruption
- ‘Pelted by rocks, dodging burning boulders and boiling steam,’ she tweeted
Several tourists have reportedly been injured as Mount Etna erupted for the third time in just under three weeks, spitting molten lava nearly 650 feet into the sky above Sicily.
A BBC journalist and camera crew were caught in the huge explosion on Thursday.
‘Lava flow mixed with steam – caused huge explosion – group pelted with boiling rocks and steam,’ the BBC‘s global science correspondent, Rebecca Morelle, tweeted.
She reported an estimated eight people suffered head injuries, burns, cuts and bruises.
Snow-covered Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano, spews lava during an eruption in the early hours of Thursday
Mount Etna is pictured erupting in the early hours of Thursday. ‘Many injured – some head injuries, burns, cuts and bruises. Volcanologist said most dangerous incident experience in his 30 year career,’ a BBC journalist at the scene said
‘An amazing 78 year old lady was very close – but safely got away,’ Ms Morelle tweeted.
‘Incident could have been worse – explosions like this have killed – but seems minor injuries for now.
‘BBC team all OK – some cuts/ bruises and burns. Very shaken though – it was extremely scary.
‘Running down a mountain pelted by rocks, dodging burning boulders and boiling steam – not an experience I ever ever want to repeat,’ she added.
Italian news reports say scientists investigating the recent eruptions were injured when magma spewing from the volcano hit snow, causing an explosion.
The Catania operation center of Italy‘s volcanology institute confirmed Thursday that members of a team taking measurements on the active volcano had been injured, but had no details on the numbers involved or the seriousness of the injuries.
A BBC camera crew, including journalist Rebecca Morelle (left) were caught up in the explosion. Lava and steam explodes from the volcano in the early hours of Thursday morning (right)
The BBC’s global science correspondent, Rebecca Morelle, was at Mount Etna on Thursday afternoon when it erupted again
Lava flow mixed with steam caused a huge explosion around lunchtime on Mount Etna on Thursday
The Catania Today website reported that at least three volcanologists were on the volcano when the explosion occurred just before noon, and that some were injured.
This latest phase of activity at Europe’s highest volcano follows the first eruption in more than a year at the end of February.
The eruption came from a relatively new crater on the southeastern side of the 3,000-metre peak.
It was captured on film by Italy’s Geology and Vulcanology Institute (INGV).
Etna has been putting on a show in recent days, however Catania’s airport remains open and there have been only periodic spews of volcanic ash.
The new eruption began on Wednesday and continued on Thursday as tourists and scientists visited Mount Etna
The eruption early on Thursday morning came from a relatively new crater on the southeastern side of Mount Etna
Mount Etna is seen from the side of a road as it spews lava during an eruption earlier on Thursday
Italian news reports say scientists investigating the recent eruptions on Thursday afternoon were injured
This file photo shows an eruption at Mount Etna on Wednesday, before the latest incident which the group were caught up in