Lava from Kilauea 'collapse explosion' destroys Hawaii structures

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One passenger, a woman in her 20s, suffered a broken thigh bone and was taken to hospital in Honolulu.

Previously, experienced operators such as Shane Turpin, captain of the boat hit in Monday's explosion, had to stay only 50 meters (164 feet) away.

The lava bomb identified by the passengers was thought to be a ball of hot lava which immediately cooled and exploded on contact with the cold water, sending hardened magma into the boat.

Officials have warned of the dangers of getting too close to where the lava meets the Pacific Ocean to create a foggy haze called a "laze".

"During this morning's overflight, HVO's (Hawaii Volcano Observatory) field crew noticed the island was oozing lava similar to the lava oozing from the broad flow front along the coastline", the USGS noted.

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The continuous eruption of the volcano produced lava, which was pushed by underwater pressure to flow to the surface, the USGS said.

Monday's large blast may also be related to the undersea landscape and the amount of lava being produced by a fissure miles from the coast.

"Once we get the confirmation on that it will be released", she said by phone.

"Today's unfortunate event is a good reminder about the risks involved with observing a natural wonder like this one and the reason officials are continuously monitoring the eruption to ensure the public is kept at safe distances on land, in the air and while at sea", Ross Birch, executive director of the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau, said in a statement. The Coast Guard said tour vessels have operated in the area going back at least 20 years. Despite the hazards, several companies operate such tours.

Hawaii's Kīlauea Volcano continues to belch ash and molten rock since it first erupted in May, and the constant lava flows have created a tiny peninsula off the northern edge of the USA state. But the only serious injury over the past two months was to a man who was hit by flying lava that broke his leg.

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