BOSTON - After explosions killed three people and injured more than 100 others, hundreds of families in Washington are watching the developments in Boston where 527 people from Washington were registered to run in the marathon.
Of those registered, 132 were from Seattle. There is no word yet if any of those runners were seriously injured in the blasts.
A woman from Olympia, Maria Rogers, who had just crossed the finish line when the explosions occurred, said she felt confusion, fear and had flashbacks of September 11 as smoke drifted around her.
Seconds after finishing, Rogers was rocked by the explosions.
“The first time, you're not really sure what that is – you’re thinking, ‘Is that a cannon?’ Or it can't be what you think it's going to be,” said Rogers.
Smoke and panic spread, and shortly after, there was no doubt of what had happened.
“And then the second time and when you feel just that pressure -- it's scary, and unfortunately, it makes you think of 9/11 again, and you think, ‘Oh my gosh, this is not what it could be. This can't be that,” said Rogers.
Rogers said she was lucky. She wasn't hurt and she had already seen her husband and knew he was OK.
But it was clear that many more were not.
“You have no idea how many people are hurt; how many people are dead,” said Rogers.
Her celebration of finishing the prestigious race turned into what she called a war zone.
"I was not prepared for -- I just came to run and enjoy the sights and then it just -- it's just incredible, it's absolutely incredible,” said Rogers.
Lake Monday afternoon, KIRO 7 was told another runner, 78-year-old Bill Iffrig, is from Lake Stevens.
Iffrig was thrown to the ground by the blast. His picture was taken seconds later by Boston Globe Sports.
KIRO 7's Lee Stoll spoke with his friends who were shocked to see the image.
The photo of Iffrig is heart-wrenching – a runner in the bottom of the frame on the ground surrounded by officers and smoke from a nearby explosion.
Stoll showed the photo to Tyler Tarailo after learning that the Iffrig was his neighbor.
Tarailo said the Lake Stevens man is an avid marathon runner.
"He's been known to run those his whole life. I used to go down to Everett harbor and watch him running down there,” said Tarailo.
KIRO 7 spoke to Iffrig’s granddaughter in Ellensburg, who said her grandfather was in the group of runners who were just feet from where two bombs went off near the marathon finish line.
Iffrig was knocked to the ground and hurt his knee, but he’s been in contact with his family and has told them he’s OK.
His family said Iffrig is back at his hotel room with his wife and is resting.
Another Washington resident who had just finished running the race felt the first bomb explode and saw the second one go off right outside his window.
Tony Agtarap was in his hotel room when the bomb exploded. He said the blast shook the entire room.
"When it shook my windows, I realized this is bigger than something with the marathon," said Agtarap. "I saw a plume of smoke directly across from us at the finish, and saw the second plume go up, which was 10 to 20 seconds after the explosion."
Agtarap said he saw emergency personnel running to the scene and race officials immediately shut down the course. The medical tent was only a few blocks away from his hotel.
As he watched the horror unfold, he grew concerned for friends and family.
"I was startled, and I was worried about my colleagues and my wife that were out there. I'm a surgeon, and thought I should go out there, but we were encouraged not to go to the scene cause of possible other devices," said Agtarap.
He later learned his friends are OK.
Tacoma has what some call a tight knit community of runners, and several made the trip to run this year's Boston Marathon, including the owner of a running store, Paul Morrison.
For Morrison, running in the Boston Marathon has become an annual event. This was his fifth race.
Morrison said he had just finished his run and left the finish line area 10 minutes before explosions tore through the event's viewing area.
Morrison says his wife, Colleen, who had been in the viewing area left to meet him at mile 17, and then missed the subway back to the finish line, wasn't there when the explosion happened.
“I think she avoided a potential catastrophe by luck of the draw – being late,” said Morrison.
Meanwhile, people from Washington who were running in the marathon or had loved ones there used social media to let their friends and family know they were OK.
Facebook user Gail McClary said she saw her friend cross the finish line shortly before the blasts.
"I saw a friend of ours as he crossed the finish line. It appeared like the explosion knocked him off his feet. He was wearing an orange tank top and he is from Everett, Washington," McClary posted.
On Monday afternoon, Seattle police said on their blotter they would be increasing patrols.
"We haven’t received any information to indicate that there is a threat to Seattle. Still, we have begun taking reasonable precautions to protect our community," the post said.
Police said patrols would be increased in neighborhoods and around city infrastructure.
“We are going out and taking a look at places where people gather to let the public know that we’re aware, we’re monitoring,” Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn told KIRO 7. “The most important thing for people to do is to keep living their everyday lives, but at the same time, to let us if they see something we should pay attention to.”
On a Google+ stream, it was reported that Bellevue-based T-Mobile CEO John Legere was a participant in the marathon. Legere finished about half an hour before the explosions, the Boston Marathon website said.
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