BBC film crew pummelled by falling rocks from erupting volcano

  • 17/03/2017

A BBC journalist and camerawoman on assignment at Sicily's Mt Etna volcano were among the injured when it exploded.

Their film shows an explosion of steam followed by a second explosion of boiling rocks and people fleeing the scene.

Ten people were reported injured when the highly volatile volcano erupted and spewed clusters of the volcanic rock onto those below.

Tourists, who were drawn to Etna to observe the spectacle of the active volcano erupting, were caught by surprise when its flowing magma hit thick snow, causing a phreatic explosion that rained rock and other material down upon them.

Etna alpine guide Pippo Mazzaglia said he was up the side of the volcano with a group of 20 people when the phreatic explosion occurred.

"Lava flow hit some snow and the contrast between cold and hot generated this explosion. However it was nothing particular big and it was mainly some small pieces of scoria," he explained.

"Therefore we didn't have any serious injuries, just some small abrasions."

Mt Etna has been active for the past two days, creating a visual spectacle as it spews lava and ash into the air.

A new lava flow started from the south-eastern crater on Wednesday (local time).

So far it has not disrupted traffic at the nearby Catania airport or created inconvenience for residents in the area.