HALIFAX - Rami Bardeesy says he heard two loud bangs from inside his hotel room about 10 seconds apart.
The noises were bombs that sent people scrambling for cover at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Three people are confirmed dead and over 130 people are injured in the wake of the large explosions that led to a lockdown of the racer’s hotel and panic in nearby streets.
“They were deep rumbling booms and kind of shook the windows,” said Bardeesy, a Halifax runner, from his hotel room about a block from where the explosions happened. “We were just saying that almost seemed like an explosion.”
Bardeesy, one of the country’s top marathon runners, was relaxing with some fellow HRM runners after finishing the grueling race in a 2:35:48. But a couple of hours later, the unthinkable, with Bardeesy left trying to comprehend the goings on around him.
“It’s very unnerving and upsetting really,” he said.
Victoria Jollimore usually participates in the race but this year was there to watch and cheer her fellow Nova Scotia racers on, including Bardeesy. She says she was sitting in the grandstands where the explosions happened for most of the day, and only left an hour before it happened.
“We heard it. We felt it. And I remember one of the guys said, ‘Geez, it sounds like a bomb went off.’ And lo and behold,” she said. “One of our people here went down and tried to leave the hotel and they sent him back up and he said ‘Guess what? It was a bomb.’”
Both Bardeesy and Jollimore say they were also planning to leave to get a bite to eat around the area where the explosions happened.
“I’m glad we didn’t,” Jollimore said.
There are 96 Nova Scotians who competed at this year’s marathon, including 33 from Halifax.
Premier Darrell Dexter, among other notables, including runners competing at the race from Nova Scotia, have already taken to Twitter about the incident.
PHILIP CROUCHER - METRO HALIFAX