More details from St Albans Boston Marathon bomb survivors
PUBLISHED: 12:29 18 April 2013 | UPDATED: 12:29 18 April 2013
AMIDST the chaos that ensued after two deadly bombs ripped through crowds cheering on competitors in the Boston Marathon a Harpenden runner tried frantically to locate her husband.
He was later found safe – one of three local runners, members of St Albans Striders and Harpenden Arrows, to have escaped Monday’s bomb attacks unscathed, although one athlete was forced to stop about one mile from the finish line because of the blasts.
As people screamed and streets were left splattered with blood and debris from the explosions that killed three and wounded more than 170, Louise Crosby was unable to contact husband David Green by mobile phone.
The couple, both economic consultants and members of Harpenden Arrows, were competing in the annual marathon to celebrate 25 years of marriage.
Two explosions occurred within moments of each other near the Boston Marathon finish line.
Louise, 53, and David, 52, of Harpenden, had run separately in the 26.2 mile marathon because the more than 23,000 participants had staggered starts.
Fortunately David had crossed the finish line 50 minutes before the first bomb went off while Louise had finished just 15 minutes prior to the explosions.
Louise said: “I went to the bag area which was about 200 metres from the finish line. I heard an explosion and looked down the road, and saw a plume of smoke.
“When you finish a marathon you are exhausted, so I was looking at other runners and we were wondering what it was. We thought it was a gas explosion.
“Then the second one went off and we thought, that wasn’t good. The message came through to move from the bag area.”
Unbeknown to Louise, David was waiting for her in the meet and greet area.
She said: “I was concerned because David hadn’t left any messages because he had phone connection problems – he didn’t have any reception. But I thought maybe something had happened.”
Louise double-checked that he had crossed the finish line and then, following advice from marathon officials, she checked whether he had been treated by medics. But he had not needed treatment following completion of the marathon.
She said: “I was trying to keep calm. It was unfortunate we couldn’t text each other.”
Once the couple were reunited, they immediately took a bus to their accommodation, away from Boston.
The couple said: “We are saddened and shocked that something like this could happen, and we are very much thinking of the people who have been killed or injured.”
Colin Braybrook, speaking on behalf of St Albans Striders, said that member Kathryn Hall was “okay [despite] having had to pull up short of the finish.
“She got through 40 kilometres in four hours, 23 minutes but then had to stop at 25.8 miles because of the bomb near the finish”.
More than 1,000 law enforcement officers led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been assigned to investigate the terrorist attack, and are sifting through more than 2,000 tips from members of the public.