A man with close connections to Donegal Town man has spoken of his horror at what he saw when two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon yesterday, killing three and injuring 144..
Chris Cassidy, whose grandparents were from the town, is a reporter with the Boston Herald, told the Donegal Democrat: “I was two-tenths of a mile from the finish line. The last thing I remember was my buddy, Sean Biggins, cheering me on from a patio on Boylston Street to my left. A few seconds later, I heard what sounded like canon fire and saw white smoke near the finish line just ahead of me. Foolishly, I thought this was just some kind of pre-planned Patriots Day military salute, and continued running toward the finish.
“A few seconds later, I heard a second explosion just behind me, turned, and saw a trash can blown apart and several people seriously injured. Only then did I realize this was an organized attack. At that moment, everything stopped. Runners started to high-jump metal barriers and evacuate, and the marathon came to a halt.
“The scene was pretty gruesome. I heard a lot of screaming, and saw several wounded spectators. Near the trash can at the second explosion, one man’s lower legs were blown off.
“All of this still feels like a dream that hasn’t sunk in at all. The vast majority of the runners coming through at that time were charity runners, and I can only assume most of the spectators were their friends and family. Thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims.”
Mick Timony, from Donegal Town, said: “I was at work two miles away: Liz was at home. The marathon goes down the street beside us. The explosions happened about three blocks away. Liz heard the booms and at first thought it was fireworks. “Walking home there were tonnes of police everywhere, and a police chopper following me most of the way.
“The bombs happened on the footpath where people congregate to watch the race near the finish line. One was near or outside the Landmark Hotel and the other was near the Crate & Barrel that Liz used to work at.
“This was an awful day for the runners, the people injured, and for Boston.
“Ironically the marathon was dedicated to the victims of the Newtown shooting that occurred earlier this year.”