Athletes from the South East, caught up in the Boston Marathon bombing, have been describing the terrifying scenes they witnessed. Malcolm Shaw reports.
Darren Foy, 40, from Southampton, his wife Sandra and their two children, missed the explosions by just half an hour after he finished the Boston Marathon in three and a half hours.
The chartered surveyor, who is chairman of the Lordshill Road Runners in Southampton and was competing in his fourth marathon, said: "There are reports here that the explosions came from a hotel at the finish line and I walked past there a few days ago to pick up my race number.
"It's such a soft target. There are hundreds of thousands spectators on the streets and 27,000 runners, so we got off lightly."
More than 30 runners from our region were taking part in yesterday's Boston Marathon.
While some had completed the course when two explosions occurred near the finishing line, many were still running at the time.
Darren Foy, 40, from Southampton and his wife Sandra and their two children missed the explosions by just 30 minutes after he finished the marathon in three and half hours.
He said: "We were on our way home when we heard something had happened and I was getting messages like 'are you Ok?' which I never get. It's all quite shocking really."
Brighton runner Abi Griffiths crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon around ten minutes before the explosions happened.
She said: "It was as I was retrieving my bag that I heard an explosion, now everyone sort of looked around and there was a moment of disbelief and bewilderment, you didn't exactly know what had happened, but a few seconds after that suddenly it went into a state of chaos.
"The sound of the explosion, the ground shook underneath my feet a bit, I mean, just, I've never heard a bomb before but there was just that sixth sense that something bad had happened."
Former Metropolitan Police Officer Graham Whettone has told Daybreak that security protocols surrounding Margaret Thatcher's funeral will most likely be reviewed in light of what happened at the Boston Marathon.
He said: "If they need to advance [the plans] then they will do, there's different tactical options the police can employ at various events, they will just review those now, if they need to advancer them then they will do."
The total of people injured by blasts at the Boston Marathon has risen to 144 people, officials at Boston area hospitals said to CNN.
At least three people were killed by two blasts at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, police confirmed.
Doctors said that many of the injured who were admitted to hospital had severe leg injuries caused by shrapnel, and confirmed at least 10 amputations.
The UK Consulate in Boston has tweeted contact information for anyone needing help after the marathon explosions:
For all British Nationals in need of emergency Consular assistance, please call the Global Response Center at1 877 854 6872From @UKinBoston on Twitter:
Runner Darren Foy, 40, from Southampton and his wife Sandra and their two children missed the explosions by just 30 minutes after he finished the marathon in three and half hours.
Speaking from the city, the chartered surveyor said:
We were on our way home when we heard something had happened and I was getting messages like 'are you Ok?' which I never get. It's all quite shocking really.
We got home and we looked at the BBC online and saw there had been explosions but we are OK because I finished in three and a half hours and we were on the bus when it happened.
We are staying five miles outside and I'm not intending to go back into the city for a few days.
It's such a soft target. There are hundreds of thousands spectators on the streets and 27,000 runners, so we got off lightly.
There have been reports of two explosions near to the finish line of the Boston Marathon in the USA. More coverage of this story on the ITV National News website.