Ten people were injured by flying rock and lava after Mount Etna, Europe's biggest active volcano, erupted on Thursday, according to reports and a BBC journalist who was among those caught up in the drama.
The group suffered burns, cuts and bruises and six were hospitalised, according to Italian media outlets.
BBC science correspondent Rebecca Morelle tweeted that only minor injuries had been suffered but that it could easily have been much worse.
"Everyone taken off the mountain - rescue team and guides here were brilliant," she wrote on Twitter, adding: "bbc team all ok - some cuts/ bruises and burns. Very shaken though - it was extremely scary."
According to Morelle, a "huge explosion" was caused by a lava flow mixing with steam -- which seems to have been created by the molten liquid running over snow.
Morelle said a volcanologist with them on the peak described the incident as the most dangerous in his 30-year career.
"Explosions like this have killed," she added.
"Running down a mountain pelted by rocks, dodging burning boulders and boiling steam - not an experience I ever ever want to repeat."
The incident happened as Etna burst into life again, two and a half weeks after its first eruption in over a year.
The eruption, from a crater on the southeastern side of the 3,000-metre (9,800-foot) peak, sent rocks and molten lava some 200 metres into the sky above Sicily.