Crazy Video Shows Tourists at Edge of Volcano Crater As It Erupts

Footage has captured the moment tourists found themselves standing on the edge of a volcano as it began to erupt.

The video posted to YouTube by Linterna Verde Trekking shows a group of friends climbing the Nevados de Chillán volcano, located in the Andes of Central Chile. The volcano has been erupting for more than 6 years and is prone to pulsing without warning.

About 18 minutes into the video, footage taken with a drone shows the landscape on top of the volcano. To the right, people can be seen walking on the crater in the distance.

Suddenly, plumes of grey and black gas shoot out of the crater. The tourists can no longer be seen as the gases continue to blanket the landscape.

The video shows the moment the volcano begins pulsing as tourists stand on the crater

Jose Miguel Sepulveda, who posted the video, said in the description that everyone made it out alive. However, it gave them a "tremendous scare." Sepulveda said the trekkers "realized the risk" of climbing the active volcano and noted that they had made a mistake by putting themselves in such danger.

According to Sepulveda, there are no government signs or measures restricting access to dangerous areas around the volcano.

Araucanía-based geophysicist and academic Cristian Farías told Newsweek that the pulse shown in this video is "pretty small" for what this volcano tends to do.

"It has hundreds of pulses per week, of different sizes, so they were so lucky," he said.

Farías said that during an eruptive pulse such as this, the volcano erupts rocks of different sizes. They can range from being very small, forming volcanic ash, or can be as large as 3 feet wide.

Nevados de Chillán
A stock image shows the Nevados de Chillán. This volcano is prone to pulsing unexpectedly S Liberona/Getty Images

"Pyroclastic flows are also something that can be generated here, and this volcano has shown those before," Farías said. "These are only a couple of the main hazards, but even with small pulses you have dense rocks falling from the sky at very high speeds, which can kill you."

A Pyroclastic flows is a rapid current of hot gas that protrudes from a volcano during an eruption. The scolding temperatures as well as the mixture of gas, rock, and ash it carries, can be extremely dangerous.

"All this means that these people were standing in a very hazardous place, with no adequate equipment," he said. "It's very concerning, and it comes to show that there is a need for scientists and authorities to further communicate the risks."

Farías said there used to be a 2 km (1.2 mile) exclusion zone in the area, however, it is not being controlled by anyone. Newsweek has contacted the Chilean branch of Interpol for comment.

"Given that there is nobody checking that people do not go closer than 2 km from the crater, we just don't know how many people made that climb before. Scientists have come close to the active crater before, but using drones," he said.

Sepulveda said in the YouTube video description that he knows several others who have walked up to the crater. He expressed concern that not everyone will have the same luck he and the tourists had.

"There is also a responsibility to the agencies in charge of restricting access to the place, since there is no control whatsoever, nor are there signs, signs or anything like that at the entrance or on the road itself... so I would like them to focus beyond criticizing the action... if this does not improve they will continue the excursions to the place and in some moment we will have to mourn a tragedy," he wrote.