'Lava bomb' injures 23 after hitting tour boat in Hawaii

Elias Hubbard
July 20, 2018

A blob of hot volcanic lava struck an ocean tour boat just off the Big Island of Hawaii on Monday, injuring almost two dozen people in the worst casualty incident to date from the ongoing eruption of the Kilauea Volcano. It's unclear the total number of people on the boat.

The stricken 49-passenger-seat vessel, dubbed Hot Spot, was later videotaped maneuvering to its dock after passengers were unloaded.

The boat was also showered with smaller bits of volcanic debris and cinder from the explosion.

On Sunday, the USGS reported that the "now connected to the main flow front by a strip of lava".

The basketball-sized piece of lava reportedly burst from the water near the boat and landed on its roof.

Volcano Kilauea has destroyed 700 homes
Volcano Kilauea has destroyed 700 homes

The people were aboard a tour boat that takes visitors to see lava plunging into the ocean.

Monday afternoon at 4:15pm local time, the County Civil Defense Agency released another active alert update announcing that lava was continuing to ooze into the ocean near Ahalanui.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) discovered the formation of an island a few meters from mainland during a routine flyover on July 13.

Officials have warned of the danger of getting close to lava entering the ocean, saying the interaction can create clouds of acid and fine glass. It resulted in a lava flow increase into Leilani Estates, destroying one structure.

A tour boat accident has drawn renewed attention to Hawaii's Kilauea volcano, but for Big Island residents the erupting lava has been an ever-present force for more than two months.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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