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The Latest: Woman transported to Honolulu after lava injury

HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on lava injuring tour boat passengers off Hawaii (all times local):

3:40 p.m.

A woman who was seriously injured when molten rock crashed through the roof of her tour boat off Hawaii has been transported to Honolulu for further treatment.

Hilo Medical Center spokeswoman Elena Cabatu said Monday the woman was transferred in serious condition. Hawaii County firefighters say she broke her thigh.

A dozen others from the tour boat sought care at the hospital for minor burns and scrapes. Cabatu says all have been released.

The Hawaii County Fire Department says altogether 23 people were injured when lava flew onto the roof of the tour boat. The others were treated for superficial injuries.

The U.S. Geological Survey says explosions of varying sizes happen whenever 2,000-degree lava enters much colder seawater.

Tour boats take sightseers to watch lava enter the ocean.

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2:20 p.m.

The U.S. Geological Survey says explosions of varying sizes happen whenever 2,000-degree Fahrenheit (1,093-degree Celsius) lava enters much colder seawater.

But the large explosion that blasted lava onto a tour boat Monday could also have to something to do with the offshore topography and the amount of molten rock currently entering the ocean in that area.

USGS Geologist Janet Babb says that lava mixing with water is always explosive, but there are also times that molten rock can become encrusted underwater, and when that crust breaks the interaction it can cause huge steam explosions that can hurl debris hundreds of yards (meters) into the air.

The volume of lava now entering the sea is much higher than in previous flows, Babb says, and because the ocean is relatively shallow in that area, the lava has more opportunity to build up and explode near the surface.

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11:40 a.m.

The owner and captain of a boat that was hit by lava says he never saw the explosion that rained large chunks of hot rock down on top of his boat off the Big Island.

Shane Turpin said Monday that he and his tour group had spent 20 minutes about 500 yards offshore without seeing any major explosions from the site where Kilauea's lava enters the ocean.

He says he then navigated his vessel to about 250 yards from the lava.

He says the explosion came from behind as the ship was leaving the area. Officials say 23 people were injured, with one in serious condition.

Turpin says he has been observing and documenting explosions from the volcano and there were no warning signs before the blast that sent lava onto his boat.

Turpin says he has been navigating lava tour boats for years and has lived on the Big Island since 1983.

Kilauea has been erupting for decades, but new vents that opened in neighborhoods in May have destroyed more than 700 homes as the lava has flowed to the ocean.

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11:20 a.m.

Hawaii officials have updated the number of people injured after an explosion sent lava crashing through the roof of a tour boat off the Big Island, saying 23 were hurt.

The Hawaii County Fire Department said Monday that a woman in her 20s was in serious condition with a broken thigh bone.

Ambulances took her and three others to the hospital after the boat returned to shore. Nine people with superficial injuries drove themselves to the hospital, and an additional 10 passengers were treated at the harbor for superficial injuries.

The fire department says lava left a large hole in the roof of a tour boat that takes visitors to see molten rock flowing into the ocean.

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10:40 a.m.

Hawaii officials say a 20-year-old woman has major leg trauma after an explosion sent lava flying through the roof of a tour boat off the Big Island.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said at least 13 people were injured Monday. Other than the woman, passengers suffered burns and scrapes.

They were aboard a tour boat that takes visitors to see lava plunging into the ocean.

Officials have warned of the danger of getting close to lava entering the ocean, saying the interaction can create clouds of acid and fine glass.

The lava is coming from the Kilauea volcano, which has been erupting from a rural residential area since early May. Until now, the only serious injury was to a man who was hit by flying lava that broke his leg.

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10 a.m.

Hawaii officials say an explosion sent lava flying through the roof of a tour boat off the Big Island, injuring at least 13 people.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said one passenger broke a leg Monday and others have been burned. It says the full extent of injuries isn't yet known.

The people were aboard a tour boat that takes visitors to see lava plunging into the ocean. Several companies operate such tours.

Officials have warned of the danger of getting close to lava entering the ocean, saying the interaction can create clouds of acid and fine glass.

The lava is coming from the Kilauea volcano, which has been erupting from a rural residential area since early May.

Officials are interviewing injured passengers at a hospital.