Ten people have been injured by a volcanic eruption on Mount Etna in Italy after flowing magma hit a layer of snow triggering an explosion that sent rocks and stones flying into the air.

Among those hurt on Thursday near the summit of Etna, Europe's biggest active volcano, were members of a television crew filming for the BBC.

Nino Borzi, the mayor of Nicolosi, the closest residential area on the island of Sicily, said there were around 35 people in the area close to the explosion.

"There were 10 injuries," he said. "But none serious."

Mount Etna spews lava as it erupts on February 28, 2017 [Antonio Parrinello/Reuters]

Rebecca Morelle, the BBC's science correspondent, wrote on Twitter: "BBC team all OK - some cuts/ bruises and burns. Very shaken though - it was extremely scary."

A volcanologist accompanying Morelle described the incident as the most dangerous in his 30-year career.

"Explosions like this have killed," she said.

"Running down a mountain pelted by rocks, dodging burning boulders and boiling steam - not an experience I ever ever want to repeat."

After a quiet couple of years, Etna burst into action in February with repeated explosive eruptions that sent orange plumes of lava into the air.

Source: News agencies