BBC Crew Get Caught in a Highly Dangerous Volcanic Eruption

Ash billows into the sky visible from miles around

Andrea Kiss, a tourist who filmed footage of lava moving down the side of the volcano around half an hour before the eruption, told CNN that she knew something had happened when "injured people appeared at the cable auto station".

Mt Etna in Sicily is one of the world's most active volcanoes, with a major eruption occurring once every few years.

The injuries were caused by boiling rocks and steam released by the explosion, which was caught on camera.

Etna's last severe eruption took place in 1992, when the resulting lava put the nearby village of Zafferana in danger.

What Is A Phreatic Eruption?

The BBC's global science reporter, Rebecca Morelle, was on assignment on Etna and described the experience in a series of tweets.

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Undoubtedly a terrifying experience for all involved and from the safety of our homes the pictures of lava emerging from the snow-covered volcano look like something out of a sci-fi movie.

One volcanologist told Ms Morelle the explosion was the most most risky he had seen in his 30-year career. Ten people were reported injured.

Mount Etna is on the east coast of Sicily.

Italy's Mount Etna has consistently erupted for thousands of years, as shown in this picture from October 30, 2002.

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

"The material thrown into the air fell back down, striking the heads and bodies of people who were closest", said the president of an Italian Alpine Club.

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