|File photo: A tourist stands in front of Italy's Mount Etna, Europe's tallest and most active volcano, as it spews lava during an eruption on the southern island of Sicily|
Amongst those hurt near the summit of Etna on the island of Sicily were members of a television crew filming for the BBC.
“Running down a mountain pelted by rocks, dodging burning boulders and boiling steam – not an experience I ever ever want to repeat,” the BBC’s science correspondent Rebecca Morelle wrote on Twitter.
“BBC team all ok – some cuts/ bruises and burns. Very shaken though – it was extremely scary,” she said.
Italian officials said six people had to be taken to hospital, but none were in a serious condition.
Etna is Europe’s most active volcano. After a quiet couple of years it burst into action in February with repeated explosive eruptions that sent orange plumes of lava into the air.
Thursday’s explosion was the result of a so-called phreatomagmatic eruption, caused by magma hitting water – in this case snow.