German tourist rescued from Mount Etna

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Mount Etna, in Sicily, is one of the world's most active volcanoes. Photo: Flickr/Tobyct
10:29 CEST+02:00
A 75-year-old tourist from Germany was rescued after falling into a crater on Sicily’s Mount Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano.

The hiker fell into one of the inactive Silvestri craters, which at 1,800 metres above sea level are a popular viewing point for tourists and photographers, the Catania edition of Corriere reported.

The woman, who suffered severe chest pains and bruising, was rescued within two hours by a team of volunteers from the Etna unit of the National Alpine Cliff and Cave Rescue Corps (Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico (CNSAS).  

She was then airlifted to the nearby Rifugio Sapienza (Sapienza Refuge), where an ambulance awaited her.

The incident happened at around 2pm on Wednesday.

The CNSAS, an organization established more than 50 years ago, said in a statement that the rescue was a success thanks to the “readiness of the men”, who “voluntarily guard the Sicilian mountains, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

In 1987, an eight-year-old French boy and his mother were killed and seven other were injured by a sudden explosion near the summit.

The 3,350-metre high Mount Etna, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, began erupting last December - the most intense activity seen in months - with its lava flow lighting up the night sky and clouds of ash billowing out of its summit, forcing Catania and Comiso airports to close. The eruption diminished after a few days.

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The volcano has destroyed Catania in the past, the last time being in 1669 when lava reached the sea, killing more than 20,000 people.

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