Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Co Down man has narrow escape in Boston Marathon after standing 'right in the middle' of scene of blast a short time earlier

A photographer captures the moment an explosion goes off close to the finish line of the Boston Marathon
A photographer captures the moment an explosion goes off close to the finish line of the Boston Marathon
A Boston police officer clears Boylston Street following an explosion at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria at the finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
A Boston police officer clears Boylston Street following an explosion at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria at the finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15:  State police guard an area near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon.  (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: State police guard an area near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

A Co Down man has said he had been standing only metres away from the scene of the Boston Marathon blast a short while before the explosions.

Thomas Wright from Saintfield in Co Down told the Belfast Telegraph he was standing watching the finish of the race close to where one of the blasts happened.

“I was on my lunch hour and hopped on my bicycle and went down to see the finish of the race about half a mile from my office," he said.

“I’m not a runner and didn’t have anyone I knew running in it, I just went to see the spectacle.

“I was standing about five metres from where one of the blasts happened, but left about an hour before the explosions, so in that sense I had a lucky escape.

“If I had stayed on I’d have been right in the middle of it.”

He said he hadn't heard the bombs going off.

“The first I knew about it was when colleagues started getting text messages saying things like ‘hope you’re OK’ so we turned on the news and that’s how we found out," he said.

He said the bombs came on what had been a beautiful day.

“It’s Patriot Day and a holiday people were out and having fun when this happens.”

Mr Wright has been living in Boston for the past few years and his office is close to the site of the bombs.

“I’m standing in my office now and can see down to the where the bombs went off.

“There is traffic chaos and many roads have been been closed off - all you can hear are sirens wailing.”

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