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BBC News Team Narrowly Escapes Death from Volcano Eruption

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Mount Etna
Eruption of Mt. Etna, Italy. (Marco Restivo Barcroft Media via Getty Images)


A BBC camera crew was among the group of tourists that escaped an eruption of Mount Etna, Europe’s tallest active volcano, when it erupted on Thursday.


The BBC team was on site to observe volcanic activity at Etna, which has been spewing ash plumes and lava in recent weeks. Perhaps underestimating the danger, the BBC team and others had to make a mad dash to a rescue vehicle when one of Etna’s craters suddenly erupted. BBC global science correspondent Rebecca Morelle later Tweeted that they were “running down a mountain pelted by rocks, dodging burning boulders and boiling steam” to escape, adding that “explosions like this have killed.”


BBC reports that the incident was a phreatic explosion, in which flowing lava makes contact with snow and ice. The explosion occurred at a sufficient altitude (9,500 feet) to hurl blistering hot rocks and steam down the side of the volcano.

Ten people were injured by the explosion, but none seriously, and there were no fatalities.