Tuesday, 16 April 2013

MARATHON: Inspiring tales of heroism after bombs hit Boston


The Boston Marathon's finish was a tragic one, but where there is tragedy often acts of heroism and bravery follow.

In the immediate aftermath of the bombs exploding yesterday, stories emerged that helped restore faith in humanity. From runners jogging straight from the finish line to Massachusetts General Hospital to give blood and people helping the injured, there were some touching responses to the atrocities in the US city that saw killed three people with over 100 more injured. We look at some of the images from a day Boston will never  forget.

---- A distressed woman is embraced here by a fellow competitor as the gravity of the situation begins to hit home.

---- A runner sits near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon. There are numerous stories of people throwing open their doors to runners for runners to drink or eat as Boston went into "lock-down" after the bombings. "We decided to let people in because the situation was pretty chaotic at the time, we didn't know really what was going on, and then we took out some water," said James Noraky, a member of a local fraternity who welcomed around 200 runners.

--- Some strangers risked their lives to help others by performing CPR, embracing those in shock, and carrying the wounded to makeshift medical tents.


--- The Boston Police played a key role in restoring order to the chaos. Here a local policeman offers advice to a marathon runner. Police and FBI agents arrived were quickly on the scene with many helping to carry the wounded away from the scene in the Boston breeze.

--- Some Boston locals refused to be cowed by the obvious dangers and instead displayed their fierce sense of patriotism.
Bill Iffrig is an internet sensation. Iffrig, 78, was knocked down by the blast yards from the finishing line, but got back to his feet to finish the race. He said he was not going to give up after 26 miles despite being left dazed. "I got down to within 15 feet of the finish apron and just tremendous explosion. The shockwaves hit my whole body and my legs started jittering around. I knew I was going down."


--- A runner embraces another woman in shock near Kenmore Square after the two bombs exploded.

A woman is comforted by a man near a triage tent set up for the Boston Marathon after explosions went off at the 117th Boston Marathon.

This woman is stretchered off to receive treatment for her injuries. One of the nurses in the medical tent, Alix Coletta, described the scene as "chaos" after treating adults and kids for massive bleeding, and heart problems.

As an Australian onlooker watching events unfold, Sue Pritchard of the New South Wales State Emergency Service, put it:

"Often when they are faced with serious situations, there are people that will step forward and help and the emergency services. It's a wonderful thing," she said.

"I don't know what it is really that sparks that. It's just heroic, maybe an adrenalin rush and people just want to do something, they just can't stand by and not help and that's fantastic.

"Often to you find that people in that scene have an emergency services background, they might be nurses, doctors, or police or other emergency services personnel and they're not on call they just step in to help because they are trained to do because it comes automatically to them."

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