Boston Marathon bombings

Security at Boston Marathon not particularly tight, says Hong Kong runner

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 April, 2013, 1:43pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 4:13am

Security measures at the Boston Marathon were not particularly tight, a Hong Kong runner said on Tuesday after two bombs exploded at the US event, leaving at least three people dead and more than 100 injured.

The runner, who identified herself only as Karen, said in a Commercial Radio interview that the atmosphere in Boston had turned from carnival-like to grave after the incident. Fifty Hong Kong residents participated in the run, according to the official marathon website.

The Hong Kong Immigration Department said on Tuesday there had been no report of injuries involving Hong Kong people so far.

It said it would continue to monitor latest developments in liaison with the Chinese embassy.

Karen said runners could get on the race road as long as they had their number tags. “The police were there, but they would not check what you were taking with you,” she said.

She said the measures were similar to other overseas marathons in which she had participated. “There are many staff members, and the event was very well-organised,” she said.

The first explosion occurred 40 minutes after she had crossed the finish line, and she had returned to the hotel by then. “I was very scared. It was quite close. Everyone would pass that area.”

The two explosions were about 50 to 100 metres apart as runners crossed the finish line with a timer showing 4 hours and 9 minutes. At that time, the heaviest crowds were near the finish line.

Karen said many runners’ family members would be close to that area as well.

Another female Hong Kong runner, who identified herself by surname Lo, said the explosion occurred moments after she passed the finish line.

“I was pretty terrified because I was quite close,” she said during a telephone interview with Hong Kong media.

“I had just finished and was on my way to pick up my luggage. I was several hundreds metres away. Then I heard a very loud explosion. About three seconds later a second bang came. And then I saw much smoke came up from there,” she said.