Violent Volcano Eruption Injures Film Crew and Others

Ten people were injured when Mount Etna, Europe's most active volcano, erupted with lava, rocks, and hot steam.

Ten people were injured after Mount Etna erupted explosively Thursday.

The injured included a BBC film crew and a number of tourists. Rebecca Morelle, a global science reporter for the BBC, tweeted about the ordeal.

"Many injured—some head injuries, burns, cuts and bruises. Volcanologist said most dangerous incident experience in his 30-year career," she said in one tweet.


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

The lava was so explosive that it could be seen from space.

Ten injuries were logged by the attending medical team. A group of rescuers and guides helped the reporters and tourists descend the mountain with minimal injury.

The team was on Etna's mountainside to film a report on advancements in volcano monitoring.

The suddenness of the incident was a reminder of just how unpredictable volcanos can be.

According to Morelle's Twitter account, flowing lava mixed with steam, causing a massive explosion. Projectile rocks and steam were responsible for most of the injuries.

The explosion was caused by what's known as a "phreatic eruption" which occurs when water heated by magma or lava boils water and creates explosive steam.

Rachel Price, a camerawoman for the BBC, narrowly escaped with only a hole burnt through her jacket by a lump of rock.

The dramatic video Price caught on camera shows massive plumes of smoke and ash hovering above Mount Etna. A volcanologist that was with the BBC crew said it was the most dangerous incident he had seen in 30 years.

Haggard tourists can be seen clutching bleeding wounds and attempting to stabilise themselves as Etna spews its insides down the mountainside.

Mount Etna has been erupting since late February. The volcano is the most active in Europe and among the most active in the world. In one year alone, it can produce enough lava to fill a 108-story skyscraper. It is prone to brief, powerful bursts of lava known as paroxysms.

Since 2001, its eruptions have been recorded at increasing frequency, now erupting at least once a year. As the town of Poterno becomes more developed and populous, the possibility of Etna causing socioeconomic damage to the region becomes more likely.

In 1928, an eruption destroyed the town of Mascali; however, Etna's most destructive episode was recorded in 1669 when lava flowed for four months and destroyed several villages.


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