Thousands Were Still Running Race When Boston Attacks Occurred

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
  • Transcript

Robert Siegel has the latest on the Boston Marathon explosions.


This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.


I'm Robert Siegel. And now, the latest from Boston, where a pair of explosions this afternoon killed two people and left at least 93 injured. The blasts occurred just before 3 p.m. at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Some 23,000 people had started the race, and several thousand were still running when the attack happened. Video taken at the scene shows runners approaching the finish line as a large blast erupts from an area filled with spectators.

BLOCK: David Wray, a runner from Oklahoma, had already finished the race. He was in his hotel room nearby when he heard the first blast. He ran to the window, and saw the second blast.

DAVID WRAY: I seen people running in every direction. On every direction I looked - the streets from the finish line - after you finish, you go in to get your water - those people were just running as fast as they can. Even though they'd just ran a marathon, they were still - took off running. Everybody was just scattering.

BLOCK: Another runner, Beverly Kastel from Charlotte, N.C., says she was on the street when she heard and saw both explosions.

BEVERLY KASTEL: Huge, huge - you know, things of smoke; and it sounded like - it sounded like gunshots, is what I thought it was. And then I thought, well, maybe it's like a cannon going off to - you know, welcome people across the finish line, or something. And I thought, you know, they wouldn't be doing that for people that are running four-hour marathons. And the guy beside me said, no, that's - that's - something's really wrong.

SIEGEL: Police say there are no suspects in custody. Speaking at the White House earlier this evening, President Obama also said, we don't yet have all the answers.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We still do not know who did this, or why. And people shouldn't jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. But make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this.

SIEGEL: And as he has in recent tragedies, the president offered condolences on behalf of the nation.

OBAMA: The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight. And Michelle and I send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims in the wake of this senseless loss.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.