BOSTON — A Windham woman says she was waiting for her daughter to cross the finish line of the Boston Marathon when the first explosion knocked her over.
Dinah Aldrich of Windham says she was about 100 feet from the first explosion waiting for her daughter Bradi True of Malden, Mass. She says her 12-year-old daughter, Logan, and 30-year-old son, Tyler True, were at the finish line with her. Aldrich had just received a text that her daughter was about three minutes from the finish line.
That was when she heard a loud “kaboom” and was lifted off her feet, Aldrich said. She described the blast as a “mushroom cloud” and reported hearing another blast seconds later.
Getting to her feet, Aldrich remembered ringing ears and a police officer mouthing, “get out, run” to her. Aldrich said that is when her son Tyler ran toward the explosion, pushing aside a police officer, to find his sister.
Aldrich described the panic that had gripped the crowd and not being able to run as she watched a runner being removed from the wreckage with severed legs. She said she saw a young child killed in the blast.
She was told by other police to “Get out of the city, no matter how you have to do it.” She described the sense of shock in the crowd and how there was no way to leave the scene.
Someone near Aldrich said they thought it was a gas explosion, but she said the bombs were in two nearby restaurants.
“It was horrible,” she repeated several times, noting that first responders and medical personnel were on hand for the race and were able to assist victims quickly.
Aldrich was reunited with her daughter, who was uninjured, 20 minutes later. She is trying to leave the city to return home.
Other Maine residents were in town during the explosions, but not as close.
Elizabeth Kivus of Auburn finished Monday’s Boston Marathon in 3 hours, 22 minutes, crossing the finish line about a half-hour before two bombs ignited there.
According to her mother, Linda Kivus, “we were leaving a parking garage at the Copley and had just picked up Elizabeth. We were just leaving and heard a loud explosion,” she said.
Looking down the street toward that sound, Kivus said it “kind of reminded me of a movie, when you see an explosion and then everybody running away. Everybody was running.”
According to Linda, as the family turned to leave the city they saw police “going into security mode,” with cruisers and ambulances heading into the city.
“We’re very happy to be out of the city right at this moment,” she said.
According to Bob Brainerd, owner of Central Maine Conditioning Clinic, all of the runners and volunteers that he knew were in Boston for the race from the Lewiston-Auburn area were accounted for and none of them were hurt.
He estimated as many as nine people were working water stations on behalf of the Maine Track Club, and several people were running the race but had all finished by the time the explosions were reported. “They’re all accounted for,” he said.
Donna Beaulieu of Lewiston, who volunteered at the marathon, left Boston several hours before the bombs went off. She said she had heard from at least 20 people from Maine who were at the marathon, and none of them were at the blast site.
Kelly Brown, who along with her husband, Scott, are avid runners and have a team of runners from the Lewiston area, was at the race Monday.
“We are here and our runners are safe, except we haven’t heard from one. We believe he got diverted before the finish, but after the explosions,” she said.
“I was four miles away at Mile 22 and don’t know much. It’s been scary waiting to hear from all of our runners, though. Two of our friends are at the State House in Boston.”
Tim Gilbert, a Lewiston High School grad who attends school in Boston, had been near the scene and had started to walk back toward Fenway Park just before the explosions occurred. He had made it as far as Jerry Remy’s restaurant on Boylston Street when the blasts shook the neighborhood.
“We were far enough that we didn’t hear it, but a lot of ambulances and cops were going by,” Gilbert said. “We didn’t think much of it, but then a buddy texted us and said there were two explosions at Copley. We didn’t immediately understand the severity of it, and we went into a bar and they had it on all of the TVs. Everyone went from having a great marathon Monday to eerie silence.”