Eyewitnesses saw smoke, chaos at finish line

Maria Papadopoulos%%More Content Now News
Runners, marathon officials and police react as an explosion goes off at the Boston Marathon finish.

Deb Caprio of Rockland, Mass., heard a loud bang just  as she was crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

She looked to her left – and  saw complete chaos.

“I saw a bunch of smoke,”  Caprio, 50, said in a telephone  interview with The Enterprise  from the scene. “Everybody  was screaming and running, of  course. And then we heard an other blast after that.”

Caprio said she and others  just kept walking and “trying to  get out of there.”

“Somebody yelled out it was  a terrorist attack and that was  my thought too,” Caprio said.  “People were just trying to get  out of there and everybody was  very scared as I was.”

Mary Coulter-Bennett of  Stoughton, Mass., was standing on the  bleachers just before the finish  line, watching for her coworker  to finish the race, when she  heard explosions.

“I quickly heard this loud  blast across the street. I looked  up and just saw smoke and lots  of debris,” said Coulter-Bennett  during a telephone interview  shortly after the explosions.

“There was a clear space  where there were  people  stand ing,” she said. “I don’t even  know where the people were, I  just know that it was a clear  space.”

Coulter-Bennett said she  then focused down the road.

“I saw a runner who was  coming. He hit the ground and  he rolled and he appeared to  be  OK... then right away there was  a second explosion," she said.

She said she and other by standers then began exiting the  bleachers “as fast as we could.”

Marathon staffers were  helping the public get to safety,  said Coulter-Bennett, who  works as a group fitness coordi nator for the YMCA in  Stoughton.

“It was very orderly. It was  very organized. There was no  screaming. There was no  noise,” Coulter-Bennett said. “It  was just kind of shock. Every  one was in shock.”

Maria Papadopoulos may  be reached at mpapa@enter prisenews.com or follow on  Twitter @MariaP_ENT.