'Lava bomb' injures Hawaii tourists

At least 23 people were injured Monday when a lava explosion sent rocks and other debris flying into the air onto a tour boat in waters off the coast of Kapoho, Hawaii. (KHNL/NBC News)

At least 23 people were injured Monday when a lava explosion sent rocks and other debris flying into the air onto a tour boat in waters off the coast of Kapoho, Hawaii.

"It just exploded straight out at the boat. We could hear the rocks hit the boat and the people yelling, and they just got caught in one of those places where the lava collapses and just blew out," said witness Glenda Fay.

A "basketball-sized" lava bomb punctured the roof of the tour boat, which was carrying about 49 passengers while observing Kilauea's Kapoho ocean entry point, leaving a large hole and seriously injuring at least one woman.

The woman was later airlifted to the Queen's Medical Center on Oahu for emergency treatment. County officials say the woman, believed to be in her twenties, suffered a fractured femur.

The incident, according to a state Department of Land and Natural Resources spokesperson, is currently the subject of a multi-agency investigation that also involves the U.S. Coast Guard and Hawaii County police.

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