NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Dozens of runners from Hampton Roads were participating in the Boston Marathon Monday when two explosions went off near the finish line, killing at least three people.
Officials say more than 130 people were injured. Norfolk resident Sharon Rodier was nearing the finish line when she heard two large blasts.
"All I can say is, if I were a minute earlier, then I would have been right there in the middle of it," Rodier said. "I was sprinting to the finish when the explosion happened, then the second explosion occurred."
Rodier said nearby emergency officials rushed in to help injured runners.
"The first responders just jumped into action immediately and cleared the area," Rodier said. "They started doing triage and assisting the people."
After the explosions, she said she could smell sulfur filling the air. She said at that point, her thoughts turned from finishing a marathon to surviving. Rodier said several of her friends were tracking her progress at the finish line where one of the explosions went off.
"I was very concerned that they were in the grandstand," Rodier said. "My cell phone was with my checked baggage so I had no way of contacting them."
With help from her husband in Norfolk, Rodier made contact with her friends, and then began the difficult task of trying to get out of locked down city.
"It's controlled pandemonium," Rodier said. "You try to walk in one direction and there is another barricade and you walk in one direction there is another barricade."
After speaking with WAVY.com, Rodier regrouped with her friends at Fenway Park, a few miles from the finish line of the marathon.
She said at least one of her friends standing near the finish line was safe.
Even in this tragedy, runners told WAVY.com fear would not keep them from running the Boston Marathon next year.
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