Copley Square in Boston remains blocked off, runners waiting to get back to hotels

S.W.A.T. teams currently stationed outside most of the hotels just outside of Copley Square. / Photo: Alex Dunbar

A nearly mile long section of Boylston Avenue in the heart of Boston's Back Bay neighborhood remained shut down on Tuesday afternoon as police and federal agents continued to search for information about the two bombs that went off during the Boston Marathon.

Many runners and neighbors could only stand near the edges of the massive crime scene. They remember the frightening moments after the two explosions.

"You're just spending the whole day trying to find out who got through," said Peter Clume, from Kansas City.

"I went from feeling so good, and great, and let's celebrate to just, it was horrific," said Sharon Sundin from Pennsylvania.

By early Tuesday afternoon, hundreds of runners were still waiting to get back into the hotel rooms they had left more than 24 hours before.

Angie Prinzo, from Chicago, and her friend were rushed away from the finish line before they could get their bags.

"She didn't have her credit card or any money. We literally had no place to go and so we were grateful when a friend got us a hotel room," says Prinzo.

Many runners and family members accepted clothing or shelter from total strangers. Some were being escorted back to their hotel rooms in small groups by police on Tuesday afternoon.

Stephen Harley, from Pennsylvania, had finished the marathon with his best time ever. He was already back at the hotel when the first bomb went off.

Harley says his memories of what had been a great race will forever be mixed with the unimaginable tragedy and loss of what happened to the runners and spectators near the finish line.

"I want to be happy about it, but how can you when all this other stuff happened too. It's trivial compared to them," said Harley.

Officials say 176 people were injuried, 17 of which are critical, and three were killed in the explosions Monday afternoon. President Barack Obama said Tuesday that the explosions are being investigated as an act of terror, although authorities still don't know who is responsible.

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