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Volcanic explosion on Mount Etna injures 10 people

Magma flowing into snow causes violent explosion that sent stones and rocks flying into the air

Image Credit: AP

People stop their cars to look at Mt. Etna erupting, near Catania, Italy.

ROME, Italy: At least 10 people were injured in an eruption on Mount Etna on Thursday when magma flowing into snow caused a violent explosion that sent stones and rocks flying into the air, emergency services said.

Amongst those hurt near the summit of Etna on the island of Sicily were members of a television crew filming for the BBC.

“Running down a mountain pelted by rocks, dodging burning boulders and boiling steam – not an experience I ever ever want to repeat,” the BBC’s science correspondent Rebecca Morelle wrote on Twitter.

“BBC team all ok – some cuts/ bruises and burns. Very shaken though – it was extremely scary,” she said.

Italian officials said six people had to be taken to hospital, but none were in a serious condition.

Etna is Europe’s most active volcano. After a quiet couple of years it burst into action in February with repeated explosive eruptions that sent orange plumes of lava into the air.

Thursday’s explosion was the result of a so-called phreatomagmatic eruption, caused by magma hitting water — in this case snow.