Utahns at Boston Marathon talk about tragedy

- BOSTON, (ABC 4 News) – A group of Utah women running the Boston Marathon said they heard the loud explosions go off near the finish line as they were celebrating their accomplishment after completing the marathon.

Jess Perry from Riverton and Debbie Tebbs from Herriman said they had each crossed the finish line on Monday and were meeting their husbands and getting their medals.

The women saw emergency responders flood the area as people were told to evacuate. They said the subway trains had been shut down and people were scattered trying to find friends and loved ones.

“They were diverting everyone out and away from the scene and there were sirens and ambulances and everyone responding to the finish line,” Tebbs said.

“Immediately we’re in a panic trying to see if all of our friends and family who are here with us are safe,” Perry added.

Perry and Tebbs said their friends Angie Gates, from Draper, and Danielle Johnson, from Orem, are also in Boston.

Gates was with her husband taking pictures after finishing the marathon when she heard the explosions.

“We heard two of them go off,” Gates said. “Just then we looked up and saw all the policemen right next to us listening to their radios and then they all ran.”

Two people were killed in the blasts and dozens more are hurt.

According to WCVB in Boston, an ABC 4 News affiliate, there were 352 Utahns participating in the marathon and none were injured.

The women said the tragedy stripped away their celebrations and left them wondering why anyone would target innocent people.

Perry said the finish line is filled with family members and children cheering on the runners. She believes the attack was planned in advance.

“Our hearts really go out to those who were hurt,” Perry said. “I really feel for volunteers who were there and the families who were there to support and just be a part of something that shouldn’t have turned out this way.”

The women expect to return home to Utah on Tuesday.

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