"Of the injured, four were taken by ambulance, one seriously injured with a fractured femur", Hawaii County officials said in a statement. Nine other passengers who were onboard the boat drove themselves to the hospital, and, according to the fire department, their injuries were superficial.
At least 23 people were injured in Hawaii on Monday after a lava explosion from the Kilauea volcano sent debris flying through the roof of their tour boat.
The tours depart from the Wailoa Small Boat Harbor in Hilo at 4 a.m. daily.
Lava bomb rips through tour boat roof, July 16, 2018, a.m. DLNR photo.
Shane Turpin, the owner and captain of the boat that was hit, said he never saw the explosion that rained down on his boat.
He says he then navigated his vessel to about 250 yards from the lava.
The others in the tour group quickly pulled together helped one another, Turpin said. "And I've been documenting them a bit". "In all honesty, we definitely evaded a catastrophic event today".
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Officials say it can be risky to get close to lava entering the ocean, because clouds of acid and fine glass can be created as the transfer takes place.
"It's most likely part of the fissure 8 flow that's entering the ocean-and possibly a submarine tumulus that built up underwater and emerged above sea level", the observatory said.
The ocean entry point where the passengers were injured is already known as a vioently reactive area where water and lava combined cause chaos.
Passengers initially reported that the vessel was outside of the U.S. Coast Guard-established safety zone.
The agency allows experienced boat operators to apply for a special licence to get up to 50 metres from where lava sizzles into the sea.
DOCARE officers are now in the process of interviewing injured passengers at the Hilo Medical Center.
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