BBC team caught in Etna explosion

  • BBC team caught in Etna explosion

BBC team caught in Etna explosion

The violent explosion caught the crew unawares while they were filming a report on the volcano.

Nino Borzi, the mayor of Nicolosi, the closest residential area on the island of Sicily, said there were around 35 people in the area close to the explosion.

Authorities said the four of those hurt had to be hospitalized, mostly for head injuries, but all were expected to recover.

The BBC's global science reporter, Rebecca Morelle, was on assignment on Etna and described the experience in a series of tweets. "Very shaken though - it was extremely scary", she said. "Volcanologist said most risky incident experience in his 30-year career".

"Explosions like this have killed", she added.

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

Thousands of tourists each year visit Etna, one of the world's most active volcanoes located on the eastern coast of Sicily.

Eight people were reportedly injured some of whom had to be evacuted from the moutnain by rescue teams.

The Catania operation centre 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.

Among those near the summit of Mount Etna when it began to erupt was a 76-year-old woman who was able to rush to safety.

Thursday's incident was the result of a so-called phreatomagmatic eruption, caused by magma hitting water - in this case snow, Reuters reported.

Europe's grandest volcano is attracting visitors with its latest eruption.