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'Lava bomb' injures 23 on tour at Kilauea ocean entry site

By
Sommer Brokaw and Danielle Haynes
A basketball-sized lava bomb punctured the roof of a tour boat observing lava ocean entry Monday, injuring 23 people. Image courtesy of Hawai'i County Civil Defense
A basketball-sized "lava bomb" punctured the roof of a tour boat observing lava ocean entry Monday, injuring 23 people. Image courtesy of Hawai'i County Civil Defense

July 16 (UPI) -- An explosion at the site where lava from Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano meets the ocean left 23 people on a tour boat injured Monday, emergency officials said.

The Hawai'i County Civil Defense said a basketball-sized "lava bomb" punctured the roof of the vessel and scattered debris. Ambulance crews transported four of the more seriously injured passengers to a hospital, including one with a femur fracture.

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The agency said most other injuries were superficial.

Meanwhile, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on Friday said a field crew discovered lava from the volcano created a new island about 10 feet offshore from the Big Island, which is estimated to measure between 20 feet to 30 feet in diameter.

"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 U.S. Geological Survey agency said.

The lava overtook a school and park last week, bringing the total number of destroyed structures since eruptions began in May to more than 700.

The eruptions have displaced thousands of people. Hawai'i County Mayor Harry Kim declared a state of emergency earlier this month which lasts through next month.

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