A pair of Kalispell runners who participated in the Boston Marathon reported being safe after two bombs erupted near the finish line of the event Monday afternoon. The blasts killed two people and injured more than 100, according to The Boston Globe.
Jill Hinrichs, who is listed as Jill Clark on the marathon’s site, and Richard Briles confirmed separately they were OK as medical personnel continued rushing to the aid of the wounded and law enforcement discovered other explosive devices.
Hinrichs, 46, completed the marathon only 20 minutes before two bombs exploded near the marathon’s finish line. She confirmed on Facebook and in a text message to the Beacon that she was safe, but “so very sad.”
“I am safe in my room,” she wrote on Facebook. “Worried sick and so heartbroken for the people that were injured and killed today.”
Maura O’Halloran, the general manager at Scotty’s Bar where Hinrichs has worked for almost seven years, spent the afternoon trying to make sure Hinrichs was safe.
“She was really excited about going (to the marathon),” O’Halloran said before finding out Hinrichs was OK. “We’re really concerned about her.”
Briles, a 58-year-old emergency room doctor at Kalispell Regional Medical Center, told his colleagues that he was safe in his hotel room away from the incident.
“We’re just happy he’s OK,” said Jim Oliverson, KRMC’s senior executive director.
The blasts occurred roughly four hours after the start of the 117th Boston Marathon. Roughly 23,000 runners participated in the 26.2-mile race, including 33 from Montana who crossed the finish line, according to the event’s website.
Just before 3 p.m. EST, a loud explosion erupted on the north side of Boylston Street, which is within yards of the official finish line. A second explosion went off seconds later. The Associated Press is reporting that police detonated a third bomb.
Authorities are investigating the cause of the incidents.
Gil Jordan, the executive director of the Museum at Central School in Kalispell, competed in the Boston Marathon two years ago. He described the area where the explosions occurred as a popular gathering place for runners and spectators.
“If it was an intentional bomb that somebody placed, then it says we’re in a lot of trouble if people are just trying to attack a sporting event … That’s a very scary thing,” he said.
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