Boston Marathon explosions: eyewitness reports

 

A British runner caught up in the Boston Marathon explosions has described her terror as the “ground shook” around her.

Abi Griffiths, from London, crossed the finishing line around 10 minutes before the blast and was collecting her bag when explosions rocked Boston.

The 34-year-old told Sky News: “People kind of didn't know what to do. Then all of a sudden it went into a state of chaos.

"Police were everywhere, we were being evacuated out of the area and it was really eerie.

"It was very, very scary and what should be a major celebration of the achievement of running 26.2 miles suddenly became a frightening scene."

She said it felt like the blast may have come from “inside of a shop”.

Mike Mitchell had completed the Boston Marathon and was looking back at the finish line when he saw what he described as “a massive explosion,” with a plume of smoke rising 50 feet in the air.“Everybody freaked out,” the runner from Vancouver in Canada told Reuters soon after two explosions struck the city today.

Like Mr Mitchell, Robert Rapoport had also crossed the finish line. The radiologist from Delmar, New York, was getting a bottle of water about 50 yards away when the first explosion occurred. “We heard a boom, a loud explosion,” he told The Wall Street Journal.

Chris Cassidy, who was also taking part in the race, said that one explosion took place ahead of the finish line and the other was located somewhere beyond it. “I kept running and I heard behind me a loud bang. It looked like it was in a trash can or something,” Mr Cassidy told the Boston Herald.

Brian Walker, another eyewitness, described the scene in the immediate aftermath of the explosions as “horrific.” “I saw some horrific wounds,” he told the Herald. Spectator John Ross told the paper how “somebody’s leg flew by my head.” “I gave my belt to stop the blood,” he said.

Meanwhile, Laura McLean was in the medical tent being treated for dehydration when she was moved out to make space for victims of the explosions. “There [were] people who are really, really bloody. They were pulling them into the medical tent,” she told the Associated Press (AP)

Earlier, as the first explosion occurred, Susan Markow was standing with a friend in front of Whiskey’s, a local bar, waiting for her son Daniel to cross the finish line. “Everything was fine. Then all of a sudden, we just heard one explosion, huge,” she told the Herald.

Given the size of the event, which attracts an estimated half a million spectators, a number of media outlets were on the ground. Rachel Fox, a Boston Herald reporter who was interviewing people at the finish line, thought the first blast was some kind of celebratory bang.

“I hear the bang. I thought it was a celebratory thing. Then I saw the smoke. All in one, the ground started shaking, and it was completely quiet for a couple of seconds. The first bang was followed by a second bang. My first thought was run... I knew something wasn’t right,” she was quoted as saying by her paper.

“People were screaming and crying. I saw people fall to the ground. I wasn’t sure if it was runners falling from exhaustion or injuries.”

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

MBDA UK Ltd: Mission Planning and Control Solutions Systems Engineer

Competitive salary & benefits: MBDA UK Ltd: What’s the opportunity? A pro-act...

MBDA UK Ltd: System Design Capability

Competitive salary & benefits: MBDA UK Ltd: What’s the opportunity? The small...

Recruitment Genius: Time Served Fabricator / Welders - Immediate Start

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fabricator welder required for ...

Recruitment Genius: Inbound Customer Service Advisors

£14564 - £15311 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Inbound Customer Service Adviso...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific