Boston Marathon bombing: Utah runners, St. George response

ST. GEORGE – Events continue to unfold today in Boston as state and federal investigators piece together the tragedy that has left at least 130 injured and three dead thus far in the wake of two bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Like the rest of the nation, St. George officials and law enforcement are watching Boston and plan to enhance security at their own events accordingly.

Boston

On Monday at 2:50 p.m. Boston time, the Boston Police Department reported that two explosions occurred near the marathon’s finish line. A third explosion took place at the JKF Library, but has since been confirmed by authorities to be fire-related and not connected to the earlier explosions.

In a press conference held by the Boston Police, officials asked people to stay home or in their hotels and avoid gathering in large groups. The blast area itself has also been closed to public access as the law enforcement officials from multiple agencies conduct an investigation.

Packages and backpacks left behind by people fleeing the blast scene area are also being treated by officials  as potential bombs.

President Barack Obama addressed the nation concerning the attack on Boston and said:

“The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight …. Make no mistake. We will get to the bottom of this … Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice.”

Three people have been reported dead so far, one being an 8-year-old boy. Reports of people injured has also risen to over 130.

So far no parties have been taken into custody in connection with the bombings.

The Boston Globe released the following footage of the bombing on YouTube:

(Story continues below)

Video courtesy of The Boston Glode

St. George

The St. George Marathon is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.

“We are taking the tragedy in Boston very seriously,” said Marc Mortensen, assistant to the city manager of St. George. “We will enhance what we already believe to be well-secured events.”

St. George Sgt. Sam Despain said the police department also takes the safety of big events like the marathon and upcoming Ironman 70.3 very seriously.

“We do have a security plan in place,” Despain said, and that applies to any major event in the St. George area. The plan is reviewed every year and updated accordingly.

Officers from St. George and other agencies are also sent to a special event training course, Despain said. Once those officials return they help devise and revise the security plans as needed.

“Safety is a huge priority,” he said.

Depending on what the investigation out of Boston produces, Despain said the plans will be shaped to address those eventual findings and potential threats.

Utahns in Boston

According to 2013 Boston Marathon registry, 354 Utahns entered the race. Entrants from Southern Utah are listed below. People looking for missing loved ones involved in the Boston Marathon can call the Boston mayor’s hotline at 617-635-4700. The American Red Cross has also created the Safe and Well website for individuals in Boston to post their status to inform others.

Anyone with tips or eyewitness accounts of the explosions is asked to call 800-494-TIPS.

Southern Utah runners

St. George

  • Peggy Boren
  • Kelsey Buchanan
  • Rachel Ence
  • Eileen Gleen
  • Scott Hughes
  • Kelli Hustead
  • Sheryl Kitchen
  • Ben Kroff
  • Marium Kroff
  • Billie Roland
  • Lesa Stewart
  • Jeffery Stewart

Washington

  • Selma Bushar
  • Scott Bushar
  • Britney Farmer
  • Jeremiah Farmer
  • Annelies Paluso
  • Mara Turley

Enterprise

  • Adam Baker
  • Martha Baker

Santa Clara

  • Brooke Reynolds
  • Jared Royer

Cedar City

  • C’Era Francis
  • Steve Winslow

Virgin

  • Dan Kroff

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • San April 16, 2013 at 3:51 am

    I’ve never shown up to cheer people at the St. George Marathon or at the (upcoming) Iron Man Competition…but I might do it this year. I still have no interest in either. The only reason to go is a show of solidarity and faith; to make a statement that I will NOT be robbed of the security I feel living my life normally.

    The payoff that terrorists hope for is the abandonment of normalcy, the amendment//cessation of day to day life based on fears that they have caused. I can’t order a copy of my own birth certificate or even board a commercial flight without regretting the entire undertaking. Watching horrific images over-and-over on the news, our terrified children, new security protocols, daily inconvenience, bureaucracy, doubting your neighbor…the bombing itself is just the catalyst.

    So, in defiance of my own anxiety, I’ll probably be out there at the next marathon. Hope you will be too!

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