ITALY –Tourists and journalists hoping for a better look at Europe’s most active volcano ran for their lives Thursday. An explosion sent ash, rocks and steam their way at temperatures over 1,800 degrees.
Mount Etna has been putting on an impressive show for days, but Thursday’s massive explosion was caught on camera by a BBC crew.
Piping-hot volcanic ash and rock rained down as they fled. One reporter described it as “running down a mountain (being) pelted by rocks, dodging burning boulders and boiling steam…”
A camerawoman had to shake burning embers off her back. She later tweeted a picture of the hole that was burned in her jacket.
At least ten people were injured from the flying debris– taking shelter in a passing snowcat.
The blast is what’s known as a phreatomagmatic eruption caused by extremely hot lava hitting much colder snow.