SA athlete describes Boston blast horror

2013-04-16 08:47

Johannesburg - South African wheelchair athlete Ernst van Dyk witnessed a man having both his legs blown off in the Boston marathon blasts, he said in a radio interview on Tuesday.

"It was terrible," Van Dyk told 94.7 Highveld Stereo breakfast host Darren Simpson.

He was at a post-race celebration with some of his sponsors at a hotel overlooking the last stretch of the race when the explosions happened.

"Initially, we heard the first explosion... nobody was sure what it was. I thought it was like maybe premature fireworks or something and everyone went to the window," said Van Dyk.

'Incredible blast'

"As we stared out, the second explosion happened, right in front of our windows. An incredible blast - and immediately thereafter people were hurt.

"I saw a guy have both his legs blown off, lying on the road."

Van Dyk said he could not imagine who could be behind the blasts.

"It's the oldest marathon in the world. It's got so much history and you have to ask yourself who would be so sick...

"And they didn't really attack the runners. They attacked the spectators. They blew up the people that [were] watching the race and waiting for families and loved ones to come in."

Van Dyk said athletes were told to stay indoors on Monday night. He was heading for London on Tuesday.

"There's no reason to crawl into a hole.... I've got to go on and do what we do."

Van Dyk finished second in the men's wheelchair division.

The 40-year-old South African, in search of his 10th win at the historic event, edged Kota Hokinoue of Japan by one second to win the silver medal in 1:27:12.

Hokinoue's countryman Hiroyuki Yamamoto won the race in 1:25:33.

2 South Africans injured

The international relations and co-operation department said on Tuesday morning that two South African athletes were injured in the twin blasts in the United States.

"So far, we've been alerted to two South Africans that have been injured. Our information is that they are being treated and we are offering consular service to them," spokesperson Clayson Monyela told SABC radio news.

Twenty-eight South Africans registered for the race.

Another South African athlete, Rene Kalmer, told eNCA that she was having lunch after her race when she heard two explosions outside.

"It's really very emotional... it feels like we are in a movie, except that it is reality," Kalmer said in an interview posted on the eNCA website.

"We were sitting.... We were busy having lunch and we just heard the explosions going off and we weren't really sure what has happened, and then next thing the volunteers ran into the dining hall and just asked all the elite athletes to go upstairs to the hospitality room to make sure everyone is okay."

At least three people were killed and more than 100 were injured in the explosions, which took place near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, while the race was in progress.

  • CraigJoseph - 2013-04-16 09:00

    Wow, that's terrible! God be with all the victims and the families affected by this!

      Johan Botha - 2013-04-16 09:35

      Alicia. The bombs went off yesterday already. I watched the reports on CNN last night already

      Tharina Van Der Westhuizen - 2013-04-16 15:01

      It happened last night already Alicia.

  • Robert Peter Gemmell - 2013-04-16 09:19

    I have a simple solutions once these idiots are caught. We put small bombs on them and them go off at short intervals letting the bomb letting the bomb take the idiots toes, then his/her foot and then the leg and so on. let the people involved feel the pain and the whole world must be able to watch. Criminals don't deserve to live as they are a menace to society. It's sad that this has happened at such a historic race.

      Bart Onderweegs - 2013-04-16 11:16

      Back to 1443.

  • Werner Nel - 2013-04-16 09:29

    And to think, some of our current leaders condoned this sort of thing in the past.....

      Tasmee Hylkema - 2013-04-16 10:46

      In fact they are glorified as saints!!

      patrick.mampane - 2013-04-16 14:40

      Aka . Rashid.

  • Ferdi Preller - 2013-04-16 09:30

    And once again innocent people is paying for things they voted for... Nothing has, and ever will change.

  • Pierre Van Der Walt - 2013-04-16 09:31

    The world becomes more and more of a terrible sick specie - human.

  • Xavier7034 - 2013-04-16 09:33

    Who, who, in their right mind wants to kill a totally innocent 8 year old boy? What are these faceless ogres doing to our world? What are they trying to prove to us? - That song got it right: I see mushrooms, atomic mushrooms. I see rockets, missiles in the sky. Day by day, more and more, Where will this lead to And what is this good for? Poor world, poor world. Concrete's rising up, Where yesterday was park You heard the robin's song Heavy tractor runs Where air was clean and cool Make money, bringing fuel. Where will this lead to And what is this good for? A poor world, poor world.

  • Hemlock - 2013-04-16 09:35

    Bloody cowards, scum of the earth bastards!RIP to those who were killed and condolences to all converned. I hope the USA catch these MF's and rip their hearts out!

  • Tommy Rin - 2013-04-16 09:46

    Who's gonna be the first to call this conspiracy?

      Sean W. Bird - 2013-04-16 11:20

      Me -

  • Hannelie Janse Van Rensburg - 2013-04-16 09:54

    You know Ernest, I think some people, like you, use this page to get rid of personal issues! How on earth could you call some one thick that you've never met before, who's never harmed you in any way? If you can't find something constructive to say, then please just don't say anything!

  • Pradesh Singh - 2013-04-16 09:54

    Ernest Foster - Turbans are worn by many nations and people sll over the world and not only the muslim,, so until you know for a fact the people behind this I suggest you keep your racist mouth shut .

  • BikoGuevaraHaniX - 2013-04-16 09:58

    South Africans should know better than to throw around assumptions!! you have no clue who it is and their reasons, dont blame Islam because I know many muslims who do not stand with the belief of violence

  • Stephen Michael - 2013-04-16 10:02

    How many bombs has the US set off on other peoples countries in the last 48 hours?

      patrick.mampane - 2013-04-16 15:12

      Was it not against lesser human beings perhaps? The thumbs downs on your comment prompted my comment.

  • Lance Robile - 2013-04-16 10:09

    I find it strange that nobody has taken credit yet for the attack, Al-qaeda would have taken full credit by now so would any another terror group. Right Wing Extremist to blame.

      Mike Stafford - 2013-04-16 14:54

      We don't know the answer yet. It is also possible that it is someone with a complex who wants their moment of fame. Many of the school massacres etc are caused by these sort of isolated individuals.

  • Core Scrum - 2013-04-16 10:20


  • Martin Andersen - 2013-04-16 10:35

    im sure its going to be an excuse to wage war on Iran, they'll probably find Iranian passports in the debris.

  • Mel Webster - 2013-04-16 10:52

    Who takes responsibilities for the violence and evil in S/A on an hourly basis?

  • Alpheus Nethononda - 2013-04-16 11:41

    Askies tog Ernst!

  • Kevin Seyffert - 2013-04-16 12:14

    The perpetrators need to be found and terminated! I don't care if it is the Taliban, the CIA or the ANC. Find them and terminate them!!!

  • Kevin Gleeson - 2013-04-16 12:32

    I woke up, made coffee, turned on the TV, just in time to see the first bomb go off. Since it went off hours earlier, your addition of "just in time" is totally inappropriate, it would have been more accurate to say "just in time to see the hundredth replay".

  • Kevin Gleeson - 2013-04-16 12:33

    I woke up, made coffee, turned on the TV, just in time to see the first bomb go off. Since it went off hours earlier, your addition of "just in time" is totally inappropriate, it would have been more accurate to say "just in time to see the hundredth replay".

      Mike Stafford - 2013-04-16 14:51

      I read your comment the first time Kevin.

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