BBC crew caught up in Mount Etna volcano blast

Mar 18, 2017, 00:55
BBC crew caught up in Mount Etna volcano blast

Mount Etna is on the east coast of Sicily.

One of the Merlins passes a smouldering Etna on its return to Sigonella. The molten lava spewed more than 650 feet in the air but was not what put the tourists, one scientist, and a BBC team at risk.

The president of the Italian Alpine Club chapter in Catania, Umberto Marino, was traveling up the volcano in a snowcat when injured people started running in his direction.

The guides who accompanied them helped bring them to safety.

"A Strombolian eruption is characterized by a spray or fountain of incandescent, glowing lava in the form of cinder and lava bombs", AccuWeather Meteorologist Jim Andrews said. The lava collided with the snow to cause an explosion.

The explosion threw rocks and steam into a group of tourists.

This latest phase of activity at Europe's highest volcano follows the first eruption in more than a year at the end of February.

It was the second eruption of the magma mount this year.

Volcanologist Boris Behncke, part of the expedition, also received minor injuries to his head during what he described as a "violent explosion".

"Coming back from mountain now - there's a big ash cloud above Etna now - the plume from the explosion was visible from a long way apparently". Here's NewsCamerawoman with the massive hole a lump of rock burnt through her coat. Rebecca Morelle (BBCMorelle) March 16, 2017 Ten people suffered injuries as a result of the eruption.

According to reports, around eight people have suffered burns and head injuries after steam and rocks suddenly blasted from the volcano, in Italy. Among those hospitalized were several German tourists and a local from Zafferana, Sicily, very close to Mount Etna.