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Explosions rock Boston Marathon, killing three, injuring dozens

REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi
An ambulance is shown near the scene after explosions went off Monday at the 117th Boston Marathon.

Two bombs exploded Monday at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring dozens at the event, which draws runners from around the world and many thousands of spectators along the scenic 26.2 mile course.

More than 550 Minnesotans were entered in the race, including Sen. Scott Dibble and former state Rep. Larry Hosch. At this point, it appears that no Minnesotans have suffered injuries.

Midafternoon, Sen. Al Franken tweeted his condolences:

“From Minnesota to Massachusetts: our hearts go out to the victims of today’s tragedy. #prayforboston”

Keith Ellison, Minnesota’s 5th District congressman, offered his thoughts, too:

“I am shocked and deeply disturbed by the tragic events in Boston today, and thinking and praying for all the victims and everyone affected. Law enforcement officials have acted swiftly and courageously to protect citizens.”

Dibble, Hosch and hundreds of other runners already had finished the race when the first explosion occurred, about four hours after the race had begun.

“I must have just been getting in a cab and leaving the area,’’ MinnPost was told by the 47-year-old Dibble who covered the course in just under 3 hours, 30 minutes.

It was Dibble’s first Boston Marathon, and it had been everything he’d hoped it would be.

“It was a perfect day — cloudy and cool, gorgeous villages, beautiful hills and tons of people along the route,’’ Dibble said. “The people were as friendly as could be.’’

It was only as he crossed the finish line that Dibble noticed, briefly, one sign of our tumultuous times.

“Just beyond the finish line, there was a large mobile reponse operation set up,’’ Dibble said. “It struck me at first, ‘Ah, why this?’ But then I told myself that it makes sense. This a big, international event.’’

Dibble was feeling somewhat sheepish about having been “caught’’ running in Boston. The Senate was in session on Monday, and Dibble had hoped to slip in and out of the city without anyone, other than his peers, knowing he was missing a session day.

 “Then,’’ he said, “something like this happens. I guess everyone will know now. … I hope people know that I’ve spent a lot of time on my phone and computer [with Senate colleagues].’’

Dibble is leaving on a 5:30 a.m. flight Tuesday, putting him back in his Senate seat in time for the session.

Dibble and Hosch, who finished in 2 hours, 56 minutes, didn’t realize what had happened until they returned to the hotel where they and other Minnesotans are staying in South Boston.

“Got out of the cab and my phone and twitter were lighting up,’’ said Dibble.

Suddenly, everything about the day was changed, he said.

A runner in a wheelchair is taken from a triage tent
REUTERS/Jessica RinaldiA runner in a wheelchair is taken from a triage tent.

The Boston marathon is a dream for many runners. Dibble said that he had a sense of “exhilaration’’ when he cross the finish line.

“Part of that exhilaration is from exhaustion,’’ he said. “I was depleted completely.’’

When he learned of what had happened at the finish line, the sense of exhilaration vanished.

 “It casts a pall over everything,’’ he said. “It’s stunning, tragic and unbelievable.’’

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