At least 10 people, including tourists and scientists, were injured Thursday after Sicily's Mount Etna erupted volcanic rocks and steam, according to the Associated Press. The individuals were drawn to the famed active volcano after it had erupted roughly two weeks ago, but were caught off guard when spewing magna hit snow, causing an explosion.
Umberto Marino, the president of the Italian Alpine Club chapter in Catania, was trekking up the volcano in a snowcat when injured people started running in his direction.
"The material thrown into the air fell back down, striking the heads and bodies of people who were closest," Marino said to "Catania Today."
ANSA, the Italian news agency, reported that six people were hospitalized, mostly with head injuries, but none of the injuries were critical.
Among those present on the mountain at the time of the midday explosion were scientists from Italy's volcanology institute. The institute reported that its staff members were among the injured, but didn't have further details.
BBC's global science reporter, Rebecca Morelle, was also at the scene and described the explosion in a series of tweets.
Caught up in incident at Mount Etna - bbc crew & tourists caught up in huge explosion - caused injuries and evacuation from scene. (1)— Rebecca Morelle (@BBCMorelle) March 16, 2017
Lava flow mixed with steam - caused huge explosion - group pelted with boiling rocks and steam. (2)— Rebecca Morelle (@BBCMorelle) March 16, 2017
Many injured - some head injuries, burns, cuts and bruises. Volcanologist said most dangerous incident experience in his 30 year career (3)— Rebecca Morelle (@BBCMorelle) March 16, 2017
Just confirmed - everyone taken off the mountain ok - rescue team and guides here were brilliant. We're heading down mountain now— Rebecca Morelle (@BBCMorelle) March 16, 2017
Coming back from mountain now - there's a big ash cloud above etna now - the plume from the explosion was visible from a long way apparently— Rebecca Morelle (@BBCMorelle) March 16, 2017
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