Mount Etna erupts: Tourists injured by lava and 'boiling rocks'

Terrifying video shows people screaming and fleeing

Updated: 


Screams can be heard as tourists fall to the floor in this terrifying footage taken by a BBC camera crew at the moment Mount Etna exploded.

A horrifying rumble can be heard in the background as a cameraman caught the terrifying seconds after the volcano erupted this afternoon.

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About eight people are thought to have been injured - suffering burns and head injuries.

Now the BBC has shared the footage it captured as the ancient mountain spewed lava.

In it, shouting can be heard as panicked crew and tourists turn and run from the scene.

Credits: BBC

A horrifying rumble can be heard in the background

The camera is dropped to the snow-covered ground as the cameraman flees.

In the background, black, charred rocks can be seen falling from the sky.

But they manage to recover and head back to a waiting caterpillar-tracked mountain vehicle.

Credits: BBC

The cameraman drops his equipment at one stage, presumably to defend himself against the falling rocks

Credits: BBC

The BBC has shared the footage it captured as the ancient mountain spewed lava

The footage later cuts to the BBC staff and tourists - one older man nursing a bloody head wound - recovering inside the truck.

The BBC's global science correspondent Rebecca Morelle reported with a series of tweets from the scene that eight people were hurt in her group.

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

"Explosions like this have killed."

Credits: BBC

About eight people are thought to have been injured - suffering burns and head injuries

Credits: BBC

A window in the caterpillar truck appeared to have been smashed by falling debris

Etna has reportedly spewed lava three times in three weeks - but this explosion is the first eruption in more than a year and appears to have come out of the blue.

It is already believed to be one of the largest volcano eruptions worldwide in recent years - and is being called Etna's biggest for at least 30 years.

One of the injured is a 78-year-old woman - when the lava flow mixing with steam pelted the group with boiling rocks.

Earlier Ms Morelle began by tweeting: "Caught up in incident at Mount Etna - bbc crew & tourists caught up in huge explosion - caused injuries and evacuation from scene.

"Lava flow mixed with steam - caused huge explosion - group pelted with boiling rocks and steam."

The BBC film crew she is with at the scene escaped unharmed - but nobody is thought to be seriously injured.

A 78-year-old woman is said to have been one of the tourists who managed to escape unhurt.

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

The volcano is Europe's highest and most active - and began erupting early on Wednesday.

By this morning volcanologists had said the eruptive phase was "diminishing".

Etna is on the east coast of Sicily is Europe's most active volcano and one of the most dangerous in the world.

At 3,330 metres (10,926 feet) tall, is the highest volcano in mainland Europe and can burst into action several times a year.


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