Arizona residents react to Boston Marathon blasts


by Alice Kleinpeter

Posted on April 15, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 15 at 6:43 PM

PHOENIX – Two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday.

According to CNN two people are dead and area hospitals confirmed at least 130 people injured in what is being classified as a terrorist attack.

“This is very much an ongoing event at this point in time,” said Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis at a news conference. "We’re recommending to people that they stay home … that if they’re in hotels in the area that they return to their rooms and that they don’t go any place and congregate in large crowds.”

Ann Wallack is the owner of the Runner’s Den in Phoenix and attended the Boston Marathon to see her niece run. Wallack was inside a nearby hotel when the blasts occurred. 

“We had joined her in our own hotel which is about 200 yards or so from the finish line so thank goodness she was safe and we were inside with her,” Wallack said. “It took us several minutes to figure out that something had gone wrong. Outside we could see people crying in the street and it seemed to be more serious than just, you know, finishing a marathon and perhaps being tired or relieved at having the race over. They seemed to be much more upset. We finally went outside and saw that there was so much commotion and the sirens have been nonstop ever since.”

Wallack did not hear the blasts from the hotel but spoke to people at the finish line.

“It was very confusing and very frightening and the runners who came to the finish line after the explosion were also very confused,” Wallack said.

The first of two blasts happened at 2:50 p.m. GMT. Runner’s Den manager Ron French has been taking calls from customers and friends in Boston who have passed on information surrounding events in Boston.

“Well, luckily, we’re hearing good news from our customers and friends and family,” French said. “The people that we’re associated with seem to be, you know, out of harm’s way … they said it’s chaotic. Cellphone service is practically zero.”

Davis said bags and parcels that may have been abandoned by people at the scene are being treated as a suspicious device.

"People should be calm but they should understand that this is an ongoing event and they should understand that we need all the information that we can get available to us," he said.

Anyone trying to locate family members in Boston can call the City of Boston Mayor’s Hotline at 617-635-4500. Any witnesses or people who have information are asked to call 1-800-494-TIPS (8477).