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Greek marathoners in Boston escaped the explosions at the last moment

16 April 2013 / 18:04:58  GRReporter
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"I have just talked with Alexandra, who ran the marathon with our "flame". She told me that she had escaped the explosions at the last minute," Pavlos Diakoumakos from the association of parents of children with neoplastic disease "Flame" wrote on the social networking site Facebook thus dispelling the uncertainty about the fate of one of the volunteer marathoners, members of the organization, who had taken part in Boston Marathon.

Later, in an interview for Mega TV, Alexandra Christodouloupoulou told how close she had been to the site of the attack.

"I had just crossed the finish line and the section where the medals were awarded and I was about 150-200 metres away from them. I waited for some of the other Greeks to finish and I was thinking whether I should go back to the finish line and wait for them there. It was exactly when the two consecutive explosions happened."

A minute after the first explosion, no one could understand what was happening.

"I stood in front of two women who directed the athletes. At first, there was no panic but suddenly, we saw a large group of people coming to us from the finish line, shouting "Run, run away to hide." Then, we fled in disorder in the streets and everywhere we could. The explosion was just before the finish line, about 50 metres before it. There was a stand ... I walked a long way until I was able to find a signal for my mobile phone. There was no signal in a very large area," the volunteer completes her story.

Dimitris Andriopoulos, a tourist in the U.S. city and a participant in the Boston Marathon too, describes the developments as well:

"We are shocked. We are a group of 12 Greeks and we went to participate in the marathon. I finished nine minutes before the explosion. I was running along with my eldest son and a friend. But what shocked me the most was that my youngest son was right next to the site of the explosion. When he saw us, he came to us. We were very lucky and nothing happened to us, but we saw death a few steps away from us."

When the explosions started, his children and friend, and he himself were at a sufficient distance from the site of the explosions.

"We could not see what happened, because we were further away. However, we heard the explosions, which were very powerful, and we instinctively bent to protect ourselves. We went without any problems to the hotel, which is located about 300 metres away from the site of the explosions. We learned then what had happened and looked out of the window at the chaos in the city."

Dimitris added that the authorities in Boston had identified the incident as "continuous" and warned residents to stay home and visitors to stay in their hotel rooms.

Greece’s Consul in Boston Ilias Fotopoulos described the situation as "very bad." According to him, turmoil reigned among the residents and the institutions in the city. He also reported that Harvard University had ordered the evacuation of the students.

According to the Consul, and although not all those injured by the explosions have been identified, there is no information of a Greek citizen or a member of the Greek Diaspora in Boston among them.

Catherine Katsoura, a student at Boston University, said that immediately after the attack, the Greeks, who studied at various universities in the city, had begun calling each other on the phone in order to make sure that they were well. "At first, when we heard that there were dozens of injured people, we were terrified because our fellow students who watched the marathon could be among them," she added.
Greek American Steve Zaroyiannis was among the audience of the marathon. He was not near the site of the explosions but he heard them from up close. "At first, we did not understand what was happening. Then, we saw the smoke and the people, who were shouting and running, and the ambulances arriving," he said.

"Whoever the terrorists are, nothing will be the same. They "killed" a long sporting tradition, which was closely connected with the history of our city," added Steve.

Tags: Crime newsBostonAttackExplosionsInjuredGreeks
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