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Local families express relief following Boston Marathon

Area's Boston Marathon runners apparently escaped blasts.

April 16, 2013|By Jason Wells, Alene Tchekmedyian, Tiffany Kelly and Veronica Rocha

In the hours after a pair of deadly bombs ripped through the terminus of the Boston Marathon on Monday, it was shock, then horror, and then for many in the tri-city region who had ties to the race, a sense of relief.

More than 50 people — from Burbank to Pasadena and the communities in between — were signed up to run in the marathon. Their conditions could not all immediately be verified, but family members of some of the competitors who were reached by phone expressed deep relief after confirming that their loved ones were OK.

One of them was 17-year-old Alexa Dragojlovic of Glendale, whose mother, Kelly Dragojlovic, safely crossed the finish line just a half-hour before the explosions, which as of Tuesday had killed three people and injured more than 140.

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Kelly Dragojlovic, who was not injured, and her husband were under lockdown at a hotel near the site of the explosion in the hours after the blasts, their daughter said.

"It's definitely really scary, but I am really happy she's safe," Alexa Dragojlovic said.

The explosions started at 2:42 p.m. local time, about two hours after the first runners had crossed the finish line. The second explosion occurred 13 seconds later about 100 yards away.

Images of severed limbs, blood-stained sidewalks and chaos quickly followed on social media networks as authorities rushed in to assist the injured. Among the dead was an 8-year-old boy.

Video footage showed stunned runners near the first blast site as smoke cleared to reveal twisted barricades and the carnage behind them.

Maryann Boosalis, a 26-year-old from La Cañada Flintridge, said she completed the 26.2-mile event roughly 45 minutes before the first explosion hit near the Boylston Street finish line. By that time, she was already in her hotel room with her mother.

"I had no idea that anything happened until I saw the breaking news on TV," she said. "It's scary and sad at the same time."

There were three other people from La Cañada who were registered in the Boston Marathon — Eamon Doyle, Aaron Wade and James Morehart. All were listed as having crossed the finish line.

For others, the call was closer.

San Marino resident Mark Hughes was just 200 yards away from the scene of one of the explosions, said his wife, who on Monday was anxiously awaiting his return flight.

Hughes, 36, was not harmed.

"It's been a crazy day," Danica Hughes said.

Her husband completed the marathon about a half-hour before the explosions, she added.

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