Hawaii volcano: Lava bomb crashes through roof of tour boat, injuring 23

New Island Of Lava Growing Off The Coast Of Hawaiian Island

One woman's leg was broken when the "lava bomb", which spattered out of the water with explosive force as molten rock poured into the ocean, crashed through the roof of the boat into the vessel's seating area, said Hawaii County Fire Department Battalion Chief Darwin Okinaka. Three others were in a stable condition with unspecified injuries.

The lava at the ocean entry is coming from the Kilauea volcano, which has been erupting continuously for the past 35 years.

CNN reports 13 of the injured passengers needed hospital treatment at Hilo Medical Center, while the remaining 10 were treated for superficial injuries when they returned to port.

Some 6,100 acres have been covered in lava according to the United States Geological Survey, including areas where homes once stood.

"We try to make things safe for people when we take them out", Marzo said in a Facebook post.

The explosion left a gaping hole in the roof of the tour boat, which had been taking visitors out to view lava plunging into the sea.

Lava from a Kilauea volcano fissure advances on a roadway in Leilani Estates, on Hawaii's Big Island, on May 25, 2018 in Pahoa, Hawaii.

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In a flow that reached the ocean in 2016, the lava "hit a steep slope and was very quickly carried down to deeper parts of the ocean", Babb said.

Continued lava flows, earthquakes and slumping caused by Kilauea have devastated Hawaii's Big Island.

Boaters and seaside residents also have been warned to avoid noxious clouds of laze - a term derived from the words "lava" and "haze" - formed when lava reacts with saltwater to form a mix of acid fumes and steam laced with tiny glass-like particles. But despite the warnings, multiple companies operate the tours allowing visitors to see the lava explosions with their own eyes. There were no warning signs before the blast, he said.

Rules prohibit ships from getting any closer than 300m to a lava flow entering the sea, although a coastguard spokesperson told Reuters news agency that experienced boat operators had received special permissions to get far closer.

"Once we get the confirmation on that it will be released", she said by phone. It's unclear how many people were on the boat or how close it was to the lava.

The latest official number of houses that have been destroyed since the eruption began was 700, however as the eruption continues this number will continue to rise.

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