"Lava Bomb" Explosion Under Investigation

'Lava Bomb' From Hawaii Volcano Hits Boat, Injuring 23 Passengers

"It's information all of our partners are interested in as they look at that zone and decide whether 300 meters is sufficient", Muir said by telephone.

"We were headed east away from the flows", Turpin said in a text message.

A "basketball-sized" lava bomb punctured the roof of the tour boat, which was carrying about 49 passengers while observing Kilauea's Kapoho ocean entry point, leaving a large hole and seriously injuring at least one woman. In the 2016-2017 flow to the south, there was only about 4 cubic meters per second being erupted. Three others were in stable condition, reports said, and the rest of the passengers suffered burns and scrapes.

It's called Lava Ocean Tours, but this wasn't what the guests signed on for.

This tour company also has permission to use the Wailoa harbor as its base of operation, after voluntarily relocating from the Pohoiki boat ramp which is about ½ mile from the active ocean entry now.

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Kalapana Cultural Tours, which competes with Turpin's company, reported normal boat services and no cancellations. "It just exploded straight out at the boat and you could hear the rocks hit the boat and the people yelling", said Glenda Fay, an eyewitness in the boat behind the one which was stuck.

Ikaika Marzo, president of Kalapana Cultural Tours, witnessed Monday's explosion from a nearby tour boat.

"During this morning's overflight, HVO's (Hawaii Volcano Observatory) field crew noticed the island was oozing lava similar to the lava oozing from the broad flow front along the coastline", the USGS noted.

The Coast Guard is trying to determine the exact location of the boat hit by the blast. A collapse explosion event, which is measured in natural disaster magnitude, caused an increase of activity from fissure 8 resulting in some channel overflows, USGS said. Locals traveled there by boat in what they expected would be their last visit before it was destroyed by lava, according to a Facebook post on Wednesday by boat captain Ikaika Marzo.

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