Kilauea volcano in Hawaii makes more victims, as a lava bomb crashed through the roof of a tour boat on Monday morning, July 16th.
At least 23 people were injured on Monday morning while they were on a boat tour off Hawaii’s Big Island. As the lava from the Kilauea volcano was oozing into the ocean, it caused an explosion, thus sending numerous molten rocks into the air, according to the officials. One of the rocks crashed through the roof of the tour boat.
The Kilauea volcano first erupted in May 2018 and it hasn’t ceased ever since. Gas, steam and molten rock have been spewing out for the past months, affecting the environment and injuring numerous people.
Video source: bbc.com
The explosion created a big gaping hole in the tour boat’s roof, which was in the area at the moment of the explosion as it had been taking tourists out to have a better view of the lava that meets the sea. Unfortunately, they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. One of the visitors broke a leg and most of them suffered burns. They are now being treated in hospitals.
Darwin Okinaka, who is Hawaii County fire department battalion chief, took the command on the boat himself and returned it safely to port.
According to the officials, the boat was under the operation of Lava Ocean Tours. The company charges about $250 per person to take tourists off the shore and view lava plunging into the ocean from the tour boat. The reports claim that there can only be 49 people onboard, but the real number of people that were on this boat is still not known.
Will Bryan was one of the people that were on the boat hit by the lava bomb and was with his girlfriend, Erin.
“As soon as you saw it coming there was no time to move and the worst part was you’re in a small boat,” he said in an interview to BBC.
“So as you’re getting pelted with this lava there is nowhere to go. You only have like 20 feet [6m], and everyone is trying to hide at the same spot. It was actually rather terrifying. For a little bit afterwards there was just chaos, and the captain tried to do what he could to keep everyone calm but you can’t. Erin’s face was covered in soot and my back was hot. It was just scary.”
There are some clearly established rules that prohibit any ships from getting closer than 300 m to the area where the lava enters the sea. However, according to a coastguard spokesperson, who was in an interview with Reuters news agency, if the boat operator is an experienced one, he has the special permission to go much closer to that area.