Hawaii's Kilauea volcano sent a lava bomb flying into a tour boat on Monday morning (July 16). The explosion occurred just off the coast of the Big Island, and resulted in injuries to 23 people, 13 of which were treated at the hospital, and 10 of which were treated at the Wailoa Harbor.

According to CNN, the lava bomb left a large hole in the roof of the tour boat, and also left a railing damaged. It is unknown how many passengers were on board. Both the location and the time of the incident are also unknown, however, some passengers informed Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources that the boat was outside of the safety zone that the coast guard established.

A rule states that ships are not allowed to get any closer than 300 meters to the lava flow. Nonetheless, one coast guard spokesperson stated that special permission was sometimes given to experienced boat operators to get closer. The coast guard is now investigating the matter to determine whether or not the boat got too close to the lava.

Volcano's lava bomb creates chaos

One man, Will Bryan, described the horrifying events following the impact. He told the BBC that the lava left passengers with no time to get moving, and with nowhere to go, and that all those on board were forced to hide in the same spot. After the incident, the captain of the boat tried to keep everyone calm, but was unable to do so.

Passengers were unsettled by the incident.

According to one person who had witnessed the boat's return, the boat was covered with rocks, and persons leaving the boat also had burns and wounds on their legs. According to Hawaii County Fire Department Chief Darwin Okinaka, three passengers that sustained injuries were taken away by ambulance.

Volcano's previous activity

As stated by the BBC, the Kilauea volcano is one of the most active in the world, and it is responsible for the destruction of numerous homes, as well as many forced evacuations. It is noted, however, that before this incident, only one serious injury had occurred, when a man's leg was struck by molten rock while he was sitting on a balcony.

Scientists at the US Geological Survey stated just last week that the volcano's lava flow formed a new island. The volcano erupted in early May, and has continued to emit gas and molten rock since. The United States Geological Survey also confirmed that the volcano was still erupting on Sunday.

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