Kilauea Lava Bomb Survivor Keeps Leg

Hawaii resident Darryl Clinton is lucky enough to wiggle his toes following the impact of what officials are calling a “lava bomb” that shattered his leg last week.
KHON2 News/YouTube

Hawaii resident Darryl Clinton is lucky enough to wiggle his toes following the impact of what officials are calling a “lava bomb” that shattered his leg last week.

“It was incredible. It was an event of a lifetime. Every aspect of the lava was there. The sounds, the sites, the flowing lava, the ah-ah, the fissures, it was all happening at one time,” Clinton said. He said that he was on the rooftop of a nearby home, attempting to help extinguish the fires created by all the flying rock.

A nearby explosion shattered his lower leg, nearly tearing it from his body. “It was the most forceful impact I’ve ever had on my body in my life,” he recalled. “I’ve been hit by big waves and various things. That was just incredibly powerful and hot. It burned.”

A friend wrapped his leg in a sheet, drug him down five flights of stairs, and called for help, and Clinton said, “it was super painful and I don’t know if I was in shock. I just think about my daughters, and I knew I was up on that roof and I was in really bad shape. My leg was in half, my bone was sticking out. There was blood squirting out.”

Fortunately, Clinton has come out of the experience reasonably intact. “The doctors did an amazing job. I can’t believe they put it back together. I thought it was – I just wanted to live. I didn’t care if they cut my leg off down there or not,” he said. Once he is healed, he plans to return to his Kapoho residence — but maybe shy away from further adventures with molten rock. “I’m good on the lava, yeah,” he said.

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