NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A runner from Lafayette was about a block away when two bombs exploded near the Boston Marathon's finish line. Two runners from Opelousas crossed the line about two minutes before the explosions. They and 18 Baton Rouge-area runners are safe, newspapers reported.
Anne Sagrera, 39, a fitness instructor from Lafayette, said she'd finished the race about an hour earlier, The Advertiser (http://bit.ly/17fB4p8) reported. "I was about a block away going to the family meeting area when I heard the first explosion. Shortly after I heard the second one," said Sagrera, reached by cellphone.
Opelousas residents Kathryn Jarrell and Jennifer Castille finished one second apart, at 4:01:15 and 4:01:16, online records show. Both were unharmed by the explosions, Castille's husband, Ric Castille, told The Daily World (http://bit.ly/XNMgdF).
"She called me but then we got cut off almost immediately," he said. "She told me everything's OK, and that the group that came from Opelousas, they're all OK."
Ric Castille said about 12 women from Opelousas went to Boston for the marathon, but only Castille, 52, and Jarrell, both veteran marathoners, ran. He said his wife, a sales executive with Lou-Ana Foods in Opelousas, ran the Boston Marathon last year and qualified again this year.
Of six Acadiana residents registered to run in the race, all but one was recorded as finishing. The other, Boyd Girouard of Kaplan, did not even have a time recorded at the halfway mark, according to marathon records. It wasn't known whether he started, The Advertiser reported.
All 18 members of the Varsity Sports team were unhurt, store owner Jenni Peters told The Advocate (http://bit.ly/10YuGA9). At Sullivan's Restaurant, manager Lindsey Fussell said general manager and runner Leo Verde, who raised $25,000 for cystic fibrosis with his run, also was safe.
Peters said people at the store were celebrating their team's high finish — the men were second overall and the women third — when they learned about the explosion.
"You go from jubilation to the horror that something like this could happen," she said.
The commander of Louisiana State Police said his agency and law enforcement agencies all over the country are monitoring the situation in Boston.
Col. Mike Edmonson said Monday that the Louisiana monitoring is occurring at state police headquarters in an around-the-clock operation that works to identify threats of violence or terrorism by communicating with local and federal authorities.
Edmonson said there so far is no indication of any Louisiana connection to the Boston explosions.