West Chester city councilman John Manion had just finished his fourth Boston Marathon and was relaxing in his hotel room when he heard a loud “boom” from down the street.
“My daughter said, ‘What’s that?’” Manion said. “She’s 9 years old, and I told her it was probably a truck dropping off a dumpster, but it was way too loud for that. Then we immediately heard the next one – and there was no way it was going to be two trucks.”
Manion and eight other runners from a West Chester running group were staying at Marriott Copley Place a few blocks from Boylston Street Monday afternoon after the race, and were blocks from the finish line when two bombs exploded there in quick succession, killing three and wounding dozens more. Manion’s wife had been standing in the area where the second bomb exploded for much of the race before he finished, he said.
Inside the Marriott, Manion and his wife turned on the news, checked Twitter and peered from their hotel windows down Ring Street, where they watched “40 to 60 ambulances line up, all the way up the street.” Then came the SWAT teams and the military personnel in camouflage.