Tourists and BBC crew suffer minor injuries in Mount Etna blast

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In recent days Mount Etna has started spewing lava following its most recent eruption, which was on February 28 this year. Six of them will be taken to hospitals in Catania and Acireale.

"Running down a mountain pelted by rocks, dodging burning boulders and boiling steam - not an experience I ever ever want to repeat".

BBC science reporter Rebecca Morelle tweeted: "Many injured - some head injuries, burns, cuts and bruises".

The crew, exhausted and panicked, made it back to a large snowmobile which had sustained damage from flying debris, with some sustaining "cuts, bruises and burns", according to Morelle, adding that they were all "very shaken" by the "extremely scary" experience.

She said officials had confirmed everyone had been evacuated.

But as the BBC's Morelle observed on Twitter, Thursday's event served as a "reminder of how unsafe and unpredictable volcanoes can be".

The explosion was reportedly caused by hot molten lava mixing with steam at the summit of Europe's highest volcano.

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"An estimated 8 injuries logged by medical team here".

Authorities said the four of those hurt had to be hospitalized, mostly for head injuries, but all were expected to recover.

Thursday's explosion was the result of a so-called phreatomagmatic eruption, caused by magma hitting water - in this case snow.

Mount Etna spewing lava Thursday, hours before the incident.

Volcanologists later said the eruptive phase was "diminishing", the Mirror of the United Kingdom reported. In 1928 the village of Mascili was wiped out.

Among the injured include a BBC journalist and her film crew, and a 78 year old woman. The Standard has contacted them for comment.