Incredible footage has emerged showing the “terrifying moment” a BBC crew got caught up in an explosion at Mount Etna this week.
The chaotic video shows the crew just metres from the eruption in Sicily, Italy, an explosion which one volcanologist at the scene described as “the most dangerous in his 30-year career”.
The eruption happened at about 11:30am on Thursday and left almost a dozen injured.
In the video rubble can be seen being thrown into the air as people try to distance themselves from the growing steam cloud. At the end of the clip survivors are left bloodied.
The incident appears to be a phreatic explosion, where surface snow or water is rapidly heated by contact with magma or lava resulting in a burst of steam, water and rocks, officials have said.
At least 10 people are believed to have been injured from the volcanic rocks and steam.
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 Associated Press reports.
Science correspondent Rebecca Morelle tweeted about being caught up in the explosion:
The president of the Italian Alpine Club chapter in Catania, Umberto Marino, was travelling 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 told the Catania Today website.
According to Italian news agency ANSA, four people including three German tourists were hospitalised, mostly with head injuries. None of the injuries was listed as grave.
The tourists were in an area they were permitted to enter when the explosion occurred, officials said.
Mount Etna has been active for the past two days, creating a visual spectacle as it spews lava and ash into the air.
Officials at Catania airport on Thursday announced it would reduce arrivals by half to five flights an hour due to ash clouds.
Italy’s volcanology institute said it was continuing to monitor the phenomenon.