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10 injured by volcanic explosion on Italy's Mount Etna

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image A new eruption which began on March 15 is causing no damages to Catania's airport which is fully operational. (AP Photo/Salvatore Allegra)

Ten people have been injured by a volcano blast at Mount Etna, as magma flowing into snow caused a violent eruption, sending rocks flying through the air. Among the injured was a television crew filming for the BBC.

MILAN (AP) — Sicily's Mount Etna volcano unleashed an explosion Thursday, hurling molten rocks and steam that rained down on tourists, journalists and a scientist who scrambled to escape the barrage. Ten people were reported injured.

The 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.

A BBC journalist and camerawoman on assignment at the volcano were among the injured. Their film shows an explosion of steam followed by a second explosion of boiling rocks and people running away from the explosion. The clip continues in a snowcat, where a man holds a paper towel to stanch the bleeding from his head and hugs his wife.

Authorities say about 35 tourists were on the volcano when the explosion occurred around midday, and that the guides who accompanied them helped bring them to safety.

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


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