Sicilians, tourists scramble for safety as Mount Etna erupts

Posted March 17, 2017

Ten people have been injured by a volcanic eruption on Mount Etna in Italy after flowing magma hit a layer of snow triggering an explosion that sent rocks and stones flying into the air.

Etna burst into life again two-and-a-half weeks after its first eruption in over a year.

Rocks propelled into the air by the blast rained down on people observing the lava flow, including members of a BBC News video crew, BBC reports.

Reporter Morelle revealed that a seasoned volcanologist involved said the incident was the most risky he had experienced in 30 years.

The BBC crew was shaken but physically OK despite having suffered cuts, bruises and burns, she wrote.

Europe's grandest volcano is attracting visitors with its latest eruption.

The explosion reportedly occurred when magna from the volcano hit snow.

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She added that a "huge explosion" caused rocks and steam to be pelted at the group.

Officials at Catania airport on Thursday announced it would reduce arrivals by half to five flights an hour due to ash clouds.

News science correspondent Rebecca Morelle described the incident as "extremely scary".

'Incident could have been worse - explosions like this have killed - but seems minor injuries for now.

None of the injuries were serious, he said, although local media reported several of the wounded were being treated at area hospitals. The volcano previously had an active eruption rate of 1.7 years until 2001, when activity became more frequent.

A tourist stands in front of Mount Etna in Sicily, Italy, Feb. 28, 2017.

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