County Donegal native Ricky Simms, manager to Jamaican olympic gold medalist runner Usain Bolt, was just 100 metres from one of the Boston explosions and discussed the horror.
“I was 100 yards away having lunch when we heard the explosion, it was unreal.”
Simms was accompanying one of his athletes, Micah Kogo, who finished 2nd overall in the race.
“I was with the elite athletes and they had all finished so the people who were crossing the line when the bombs went off were there for different reasons. Many are there for personal goals or to raise money for charity and reaching the finish line is supposed to be an incredible experience for them and then this happened,” Simms explained.
The “senseless act of terror,” as the President put it, sent Boston into panic and Simms recalled that, “We were all moved into a room in the hotel where we had been eating and put under lockdown.”
He went on to explain, “We were kept there and for the next five hours we just watched what was happening a short distance away on TV.”
Another Donegal man, Chris Cassidy, was also on the scene during the tragedy. Cassidy, who was reporting for the Boston Globe and running in the race, explained, “It was the only time in my life I thought there was a real chance I was going to die..or at least get struck by flying debris from a third blast that never came.”
He went on to say, “I saw several severely injured spectators. I saw a woman bleeding from her forehead, another woman lying on the ground was being attended to by a Boston police officer.”