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Video reveals moment-by-moment tour boat passenger reactions to explosion that sent lava chunks flying

Published: Jul. 17, 2018 at 6:43 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 17, 2018 at 6:59 PM HST
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KAPOHO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Almost two dozen people were injured after an explosion sent "basketball-sized" lava rocks pummeling into a tour boat Monday, and a video taken by Lava Ocean Tours passenger Laci Mayton paints a narrative of the explosion's events.

The footage opens with a red glow, and smoke billowing from near the shore. Everyone seems to be quietly looking in its direction until a large lava explosion sends rocks and debris flying toward the tour boat – and the first screams are heard.

Almost immediately afterward, you can hear the impact of the rocks. The tinny noise of the chunks hitting the top of the boat competes with the shrieks of about 49 passengers on board.

By this point, the video is completely black – except for the occasional appearance of the red glow from the shore.

"Heads down, heads down," a woman can be heard yelling.

Another woman screams: "I can't feel my leg!"

A video recorded by tour boat passenger Laci Mayton on Monday briefly shows a basketball-sized molten rock after it landed in the damaged vessel.

Read more: More than 20 injured after explosion hurls 'basketball-sized' lava bomb onto tour boat

Rocks are no longer heard falling onto the roof of the boat, but wimpers and screams are still present. Passengers and crew members are asking if everyone is okay.

"No!" a man replies.

Crew members seem to be communicating with one another about getting back to shore. One expresses a complication, citing a "huge chunk of lava." But it seems attention is then diverted to injuries.

More screams – this time, from a male voice: "A broken leg! A broken leg!"

Whimpers and cries are heard, with one person, possibly a child, saying, "I want to go home." Young voices can be heard throughout the video. The video is dark, except for occasional pans to the glowing volcanic activity.

Individuals are looking around for personal belongings. "Can you help me find my phone?" a woman is heard asking.

Voices quiet down when a man tells everyone to clear the aisle so he can move rocks out of the boat. Commands on slowing down, stopping the boat and clearing the aisle follow.

A medic can be heard announcing himself. 6 a.m. is about the time U.S. Coast Guard said they began responding to reports of those injured aboard the boat named 'Hot Shot.'

"Hey, I'm a medic," he said. He asks about any injured parties.

"She is, her leg," people tell him.

"We need medical assistance on board!," a man exclaims.

"We're here, we're right here," another man answers.

"Are you bleeding?" a woman asks.

Officials ask for those uninjured to move, so things can be cleaned up. A few second later, a voice asks everyone to keep their voices down, so they "can take care of business."

"Oh my God, that was so scary."

The last minutes of the video are mostly filled with chatter from the passengers and directions from medical responders, asking people how they are doing and keeping the aisles clear.

"How's your neck?" someone asks a passenger.

A loud moan is heard. A few seconds later, yells come from a woman: "That hurts!" she says, repeatedly. At least 23 people were injured in the incident, according to Hawaii County officials.

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