Local runners escape Boston Marathon blast

Four La Cañada Flintridge residents completed the Boston Marathon on Monday before two deadly bombs exploded near the finish area.

One of them was 26-year-old Maryann Boosalis, who completed the 26.2-mile event roughly 45 minutes before the first explosion hit near the Boylston Street finish line. By that time, she was already in her hotel room with her mother.

“I had no idea that anything happened until I saw the breaking news on TV,” she said. “It’s scary and sad at the same time.”

The explosions started at 2:42 p.m. local time, about two hours after the first runners had crossed the finish line. The second explosion occurred 13 seconds later about 100 yards away.

Images of severed limbs, blood-stained sidewalks and chaos quickly followed on social media networks as authorities rushed to assist the injured. Among the dead was an 8-year-old boy.

Video footage showed stunned runners near the first blast site as smoke cleared to reveal twisted barricades and the carnage behind them.

There were three other people from La Cañada who were registered in the Boston Marathon — Eamon Doyle, Aaron Wade and James Morehart. All crossed the finish line.

Doyle, 25, said he trained for the marathon in the streets of La Cañada. He lived in Boston for several years while attending the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, so the tragedy was personal to him. “[Boston] feels like a second home to me and it’s just really unfortunate that this happened.”

After he finished, Doyle said he and friends who were watching him from the sidelines left to rest at a friend’s house in the area. When the news broke, he said, they were shocked.

“We were in awe,” he said. “No one knew what to say. No one knew why you’d do something like that to an event that seems so positive, something like the Boston Marathon.”

When he looked at a map of where the explosions occurred, he noticed something unsettling: The bombs went off in an area very close to where his friends were sitting.

“We were all just really glad nothing happened to us,” said Doyle. “We were really saddened for everyone who was injured.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), a senior member of the House Intelligence Committee, echoed vows made by federal authorities that the perpetrators would feel the “full weight of justice.”

“We will know much more in the coming hours and days about whether this was a home-grown plot, the product of self-radicalization, or a foreign-driven attack,” the congressman said in a statement on Tuesday. “In the meantime, I will be working to make sure the intelligence community provides all necessary support to the investigation.”

Meanwhile, airports across the region, including Bob Hope Airport, ramped up security as a precaution. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was also put on heightened alert as the investigation into the explosions unfolded.

Staff writer Daniel Siegal contributed to this report.


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