2013-04-10 / Front Page

At least 2 from Putnam escape injury in Marathon blast

Memories of 9/11
Eric Gross

Two residents of Putnam County crossed the finish line Monday in the Boston Marathon minutes before two violent explosions turned the Patriot’s Day classic into complete chaos resulting in death and widespread carnage.

Luke Maher, 22, of Patterson, crossed the finish line one minute before the bombs were detonated.

Speaking from Boston Tuesday, Maher who starred on the Carmel High School track team, said after crossing the finish line with his lady friend “we were walking to cool down when all of a sudden we heard this huge bang. I thought at first that a building had collapsed but when we saw smoke and heard people screaming running towards us—many covered in blood, Alex and I realized that something sinister had occurred.”

 Luke said his first concern was that “another explosion was about to occur. We ran for safety. It was one of the scariest moments of my life.”

Terry McArdle of Brewster was in Boston with his family for the event which he recalled “went off without a hitch. I had a good run considering injuries and shortly after I finished I heard two loud explosions.”

McArdle was participating in his fifth Boston Marathon and told the Courier and PCNR Tuesday that he was waiting to receive a water bottle when the explosions detonated.

“The horror of 9-11 flashed before my eyes. My two kids were waiting for me at a staging area. I was lucky. People were running all over the place. You didn’t know where to go or what to do. Was it terrorism? Whomever is responsible knew that they were doing since communications was shut down by the explosives. AT&T free phone use for runners was knocked out. Police radios became inoperable. It was nuts—plain and simple—nuts!”

McArdle is employed as a banker in Manhattan.

Both men had nothing but praise for the Boston PD and emergency responders: “These people were the unsung heroes by running into a scene that reminded me so of our heroes in New York City on 9-11,” said McArdle.

And for the future: “Monday’s event has changed security at marathons forever just like September 11 changed the world forever,” he said.

  Earlier story, from Monday evening:

Here's a statement from State Sen. Greg Ball, chairman of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, on the bombings in Boston:

“My thoughts and prayers go out to the citizens of Boston and the families of those involved in today's explosions and I thank and salute those first responders, citizens and law enforcement who are tending to the victims as we speak. While reports remain unclear, it is important that New Yorkers and all Americans remain vigilant. The blessing of freedom bears an enormous responsibility and we must all work together as a community to watch over each other. We must always be alert and remember that our brave citizens are our very first line of defense. If you see something, say something,” said Senator Greg Ball.

Do you know someone from Putnam County at the race? Email us here

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