Rebecca Morelle, global science correspondent for BBC News, spoke to ABC News about what it was like to survive an eruption of what she called "one of world’s most active volcanoes."
Morelle said the she and her crew were "about [30 feet] away" from the explosion as it happened, and that the injuries sustained by her crew and the tourists included cuts, bruises, some burns, and a dislocated shoulder.
The snow vehicle used by her crew had its windows broken by the blast, she said, and a big chunk was torn off of the roof.
She said that although blood was shed, everyone was eventually brought down in one piece.
"It happened as the lava hit ice and snow, Morelle told ABC News. "This doesn’t normally happen when a lava flow is so slow moving. You could actually see it very slowly inching its way down. The last eruption they had here happened a few weeks ago, and it just went down without incident. That’s why tourists are regularly brought up to see the sight -- because it is a spectacular sight."
Morelle described the turn of events as being completely unexpected.
"I was extremely scared. You know I cover science. You travel all around the world, you look at volcanoes, you look at all sorts of cool things, but you don’t really expect to find yourself in the middle of an instant like that, she said.
Despite her terrifying encounter, Morelle described what happened at Mount Etna as being a rare occurrence.
"I think it really does take home that volcanoes really are an incredibly unpredictable and deadly force of nature," Morelle said. "Mount Etna is one of the world’s most active volcanoes, but they’ve had very few instances where people have got hurt."
ABC News' Amanda Maile contributed to this report.