Illinois woman recalls ill-fated lava tour from hospital bed

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HONOLULU (AP) - Jessica Tilton wanted to see lava flowing into the ocean off Hawaii's Big Island but felt the sightseeing boat she was on got too close.

The 20-year-old from Washington, Illinois, told reporters Tuesday from her Honolulu hospital bed that it felt like the boat was getting too close for comfort. She couldn't estimate how close the boat was.

She was on the July 16 tour with her sisters and father when an explosion caused by the lava sent molten rock crashing through the roof of the boat, injuring 23.

She says another boulder of lava hit her, leaving her with a broken thigh bone, broken pelvis and other injuries. She was airlifted to Honolulu where she underwent several surgeries.

She recalls felling like she was "encased in lava" and dying.

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