From Natalie Covate, Boston University News Service:
Panicha Imsomboon, a BU journalism graduate student, stood on the final stretch of the Boston Marathon track when she heard a bomb to her left.
“I turned to the first explosion just like everyone did,” she said. “I saw the smoke, probably as high as the buildings there. Just a few seconds after that, I heard another explosion.”
After the second bomb, the crowd began to leave. Imsomboon walked with the crowd for half a block.
“After I stopped walking, a kid, maybe three or four years old, started crying,” she said. “At first, his parents thought he was shocked. Then, they found out that one of his legs was injured.”
The parents were trying to call an ambulance when an ambulance drove past them.
“In the end, the mother carried her boy and ran to find the ambulance,” Imsomboon said.
Imsomboon continued moving with the crowd when a woman with a neck injury walked up beside her.
“She had to lay down on the sidewalk,” Imsomboon said. “The blood was coming out of her neck. A friend of hers tried to hold her hand. All of us, including me, tried to yell at the ambulance because at the time she looked really bad.”
Imsomboon handed the woman a scarf to serve as a bandage.
“I know my scarf might not be clean enough,” Imsomboon said, “but it was the best thing I could find.”
Imsomboon made it safely back to her apartment near Boston University. She has no injuries other than a buzzing in her ears. She was a member of a student team reporting the marathon. She was covering fashion at the finish line of the marathon.
The Globe has confirmed that an 8-year-old boy was one of the two victims who died in the explosion. This was reported earlier by NBC News and CNN.
A Boston University student was among those critically injured in Monday's explosions at the Boston Marathon, BU President Robert A. Brown reported this evening.
In an email to staff and students, Brown said he could not provide more details about the injury or the student.
Here is Brown's email:
We are still learning about the explosions that occurred earlier today near the Finish Line for the Boston Marathon. We now know that the two explosions at the Finish Line were the result of devices planted at the scene and we also know that additional unexploded devices have been found. Two people were killed and many more seriously injured, including a Boston University student who was critically injured (we cannot yet identify the student). Boston University police have stayed on duty to protect our campus and support Boston and state police.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who have experienced a dreadful loss and those whose loved ones are terribly injured.
Obviously we will work with safety officials to understand as much as we can about what has happened. We are advising all Boston University students to stay in their residence halls and apartments and continue to follow the guidance of the Boston Police Department. All community members who are not on campus should stay home and avoid the immediate area. Please monitor BU Today for updates about University actions that we take as we learn more.
By Seth Lakso and Justin A. Rice, Globe Correspondents
It was an eerie scene on Berkley Street just after 6 p.m. as stunned marathoners with silver foils around their shoulders started collecting their possessions bundled in thousands of yellow bags on Berkley Street near the Boylston Street intersection.
“You got hundreds upon hundreds of bags,” Gary Morgan of Michigan, who was running his 11th Boston Marathon, said after claiming his bag.
Somber marathon voltmeters in yellow jackets laid out the bags, including Jenn and Molie Staretorp, who were a block away from the explosion. After ushering runners away from the blast they ran toward it.
“The runners seemed to kind of panic and then I don't know what happened but someone said something near the finish line and everyone started running,” Molie recalled. “So we just got off to the side and waited for everyone to pass and then we ran towards the finish line to see what we could do to help.
Jenn said everyone was confused after the blast.
“Mostly because they had no idea what was going on out there,” she said. “They're just running with no contact with the outside world and then people are giving them mixed directions. They just knew that they were cold. They didn't know where their bags [were], they don't know where their families are, so we've just been trying to help alleviate that a little bit.”
Marathoner Kate Gates of San Jose, Calif. was collecting her bag. She said she was around Mile 21 or 22 when the race was stopped and runners who had their smartphones where spreading the word about the bombing.
“Very quickly most runners understood the severity of it,” said Gates, who was running her ninth Boston Marathon and 43rd overall marathon. “They were glad we were safe and put themselves in the big picture right away.”
She said she asked a spectator to borrow a cell phone so she could alert family that she was OK.
“I’ve never seen such generosity,” she said. “On the way back I got multiple offers from college students to use their cell phone or asked if I wanted water or coffee.”
Camcorder in hand, MassArt student Esteban Mendoza Rollerbladed to the scene of the bag pickup. He said he was on his way to Copley to shoot video for a class project when he decided to stop at his Cambridge apartment to take a nap.
“It was pretty unreal,” he said. “The fact that I went to sleep and people were waking me up to tell me there was a bombing, that kind of scared me; 9/11 happened when I was in middle school. For it to happen in my area … this kind of stuff can happen to you, you never know where it’s going to happen.”