As many as 10 people were injured Thursday when several unexpected blasts at Italy’s Mount Etna volcano sent scalding steam and rocks shooting into the air.
Two BBC reporters were among those hurt in the midday explosions in Sicily. One of their cameras captured at least two blasts from the billowing volcano just before its operator turned to flee, only to take a hard fall into the snow-covered ground.
“Running down a mountain pelted by rocks, dodging burning boulders and boiling steam ― not an experience I ever ever want to repeat,” tweeted BBC science reporter Rebecca Morelle.
In another astonishing shot, Morelle shared a photo of her camerawoman holding up a burned-through jacket that she said had been hit by a hot rock.
Fortunately, she said, everyone at the volcano escaped with their lives and without serious injuries.
Reports varied on the number of injured, with the BBC reporting about eight and The Associated Press saying 10.
There were about 35 tourists at the volcano when flowing magma hit snow, causing the explosions, AP said, citing local authorities.
Four of the tourists were hospitalized for injuries that were not listed as life-threatening, the Italian news agency ANSA reported, according to AP.
Volcanologist Boris Behncke reported being injured, sharing in a Facebook post that the experience was “frightening and spectacular,” but he said it was not as intense as some news outlets described.
The volcano, which is one of the world’s most active and longest-documented, made headlines last month when it started to erupt.