Thousands Were Still Running Race When Boston Attacks Occurred

Apr 15, 2013
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This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.


I'm Robert Siegel. And now, the latest from Boston, where a pair of explosions this afternoon killed two people and left at least 93 injured. The blasts occurred just before 3 p.m. at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Some 23,000 people had started the race, and several thousand were still running when the attack happened. Video taken at the scene shows runners approaching the finish line as a large blast erupts from an area filled with spectators.

BLOCK: David Wray, a runner from Oklahoma, had already finished the race. He was in his hotel room nearby when he heard the first blast. He ran to the window, and saw the second blast.

DAVID WRAY: I seen people running in every direction. On every direction I looked - the streets from the finish line - after you finish, you go in to get your water - those people were just running as fast as they can. Even though they'd just ran a marathon, they were still - took off running. Everybody was just scattering.

BLOCK: Another runner, Beverly Kastel from Charlotte, N.C., says she was on the street when she heard and saw both explosions.

BEVERLY KASTEL: Huge, huge - you know, things of smoke; and it sounded like - it sounded like gunshots, is what I thought it was. And then I thought, well, maybe it's like a cannon going off to - you know, welcome people across the finish line, or something. And I thought, you know, they wouldn't be doing that for people that are running four-hour marathons. And the guy beside me said, no, that's - that's - something's really wrong.

SIEGEL: Police say there are no suspects in custody. Speaking at the White House earlier this evening, President Obama also said, we don't yet have all the answers.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We still do not know who did this, or why. And people shouldn't jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. But make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this.

SIEGEL: And as he has in recent tragedies, the president offered condolences on behalf of the nation.

OBAMA: The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight. And Michelle and I send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims in the wake of this senseless loss. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.