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Some Of Bermuda's Top Athletes Caught Up In Boston Marathon Explosions

At least 16 of Bermuda's top athletes were caught up in a suspected bomb attack which left two people dead and around 90 injured during the Boston marathon this afternoon.

According to news reports, two explosions rocked the finish line of the race, killing two and injuring scores of others.

Premier Craig Cannonier issued the following statement moments ago: “On behalf of the Government of Bermuda, we are relieved to know that the athletes representing Bermuda at the 2013 Boston Marathon are all accounted for and are safe.

"Our hearts and condolences go out to the families and friends of those who were killed or injured as a result of this senseless act of violence.”

The initial blasts occurred a few seconds apart on opposite sides of the street. The first left “a big plume of smoke” hovering over the area, around Boston's Copley Square. The second occurred about ten seconds later. The explosions occurred at about 2.45pm, about an hour after the first of the race's nearly 27,000 runners had crossed the finish line.

At least 16 runners from the Island are known to have been taking part in the event, while a number of other Bermudians were also visiting the city. Most of the Bermuda runners were thought to be staying at the Fairmont Hotel, just off Copley Square.

Christopher Estwanik, who ran the race with his wife Ashley, had crossed the line about two hours before the bombs went off and had returned to his hotel just 200 metres away from the finish line.

He told The Royal Gazette that he and his wife had left the Western Hotel to be confronted by chaos, with people running and screaming, and ambulances speeding through the streets.

“We didn't actually hear the blasts so didn't know what was going on, “ Mr Estwanik, who was speaking from a restaurant that was 'in lockdown', said.

“They have shut everything down here. We're in lockdown in a restaurant right now, so we don't really know what's going on but we're just doing what the authorities are telling us to do.

“I just can't describe my feelings right now because, you come to a great event like this and after the race we were on a high — we had performed really well, and then something like this happens and it just hits you. It makes you realise that nothing else matters. I'm just sick to my stomach and it makes you so sad for the human race. This is such a powerful day for Boston and it's one of the oldest marathons in the world, and this is going to be its legacy.

“I just hope that everyone's okay and recovers and they can get to the bottom of what actually happened.”

He added that he had managed to telephone about half-a-dozen runners from the Bermuda contingent and none of them had been injured in the blast.

Another runner, Claire De Ste Croix, finished the race just minutes before the explosions.

Mrs De Ste Croix's husband, Neil had an anxious wait before he was able to confirm that his wife was not among the injured.

“I haven't heard from her yet, but I did hear from a friend who was running with her who told me that she was fine — but obviously it's been a worrying couple of hours,” Mr De Ste Croix said.

Stephen DeSilva, who acted as a liaison officer between the Bermuda runners and race organisers, said: “It would be such a shame for something like this to tarnish what is one of the world's best and most prestigious marathon events. But obviously it's too early to say what happened exactly.”

Bermuda College lecturer Pamela Maxwell Clarke was visiting the city with her husband and described her fear at seeing the first explosion.

“We saw the first bomb go off and we were across the street from the second bomb,” she wrote on Facebook.

“We did not know where to run. We just started to run in the opposite direction of the second bomb but we did not know where to run really. There could be another one going off anywhere. We were running for our lives. Everyone was. Chaos.”
Source: RoyalGazette.Com

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