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    Posted April 16, 2013 by
    Boston, Massachusetts
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Boston Marathon bombings: Your stories

    Boston Marathon Bombing Eye Witness Account


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     CRispoli told me, 'I know I personally will never participate in an event of this nature in a city in fear that something like this could happen again. My hands have still not stopped shaking and I have not stopped wondering about what could have been. It's extremely hard to block this all out so talking about it has been very hard but also somewhat therapeutic. I am scarred by what I saw and experienced by also extrememly grateful for my life and have a new appreciation for this gift of life that is so precious.'
    - hhanks, CNN iReport producer

    My friends and I were standing behind the flags near the finish line when the first bomb exploded. The photos uploaded were taken minutes before complete chaos and mayhem broke out as we all had to run for our lives. We were only steps away from the explosion but are happy to report that we only sustained minor physical injuries and luckily have all gotten our hearing back.

    The whole experience can only be described as a surreal nightmare. As soon as the explosion happened, I was confused, I was terrfied and I just knew I had to flee in the opposite direction. So high on adrenaline, we began running on the sidewalk towards the the finish line when we heard the 2nd explosion go off just minutes later. At this point, I knew this was no accident and we were under some sort of an attack.

    One of my best friends was actually trampled and thrown to the ground as the massive crowd started running away from the scene. A stranger helped her so she was able to get up and keep running but when I stopped for a second to turn around and locate all my friends, I didn't see her and just panicked. Finally, she emerged from all the chaos and smoke and screamed my name so I was able to run back a few steps, grab her by the hand and just keep running, no more looking back. None of us were seriously injured - I have a small burn on my arm and Kaitlyn cut up her knee from the fall, but sadly, we had the blood of others trickled on our clothes and hands.The whole time we were running, especially after hearing a 2nd explosion, all we could think is "is another bomb going to go off and where?" "is Shannon (our runner friend) okay?" "are all my other friends scattered throughout the marathon route okay?". There were just so many terrible, unthinkable things running through my head and I just felt a complete sense of terror and helplessness as we made our way to safety and exit the city.

    Since getting a cab was impossible and public transportation was not an option, the group of us made our way as far as we could from the scene (along with hundreds of others). Our only option was to walk several miles all the way home to South Boston where we all reside. I had an overwhelming amount of texts, calls, Facebook messages and voicemails from loved ones, friends and people I have not spoken to or seen in months/years who had been watching the news coverage not knowing if we were okay and even worse, if we were alive. We had uploaded the photo of us in front of the flags just minutes before the bombing occurred so they knew we were in the heart of the madness. As soon as cell phone service was working again (cell towers were shut down immediately after in fear that the suspects were detonating the devices through cell phones) I did my best to call my parents and boyfriend first to tell them that we were "OK" for lack of a better word, and to please strart spreading the word to everyone else, especially the parents of my friends, as we were still all just trying to walk to safety.

    When all was said and done, I am just so thankful that we are all alive and am so grateful for everyone's overwhelmingly amazing support. We were some of the lucky ones and our hearts and prayers go out to all those victims who were not as fortunate. I would also like to acknowledge the brave first responsers and regular civilians who ran towards to blasts to save other's lives as so many of us rany away to save our own lives. Their acts of bravery and selflessness helped and saved so many innocent people who fell victim to this senseless act.


    God Bless Boston! I am confident that justice will be served and we, as a city, will prevail even stronger than before.

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