“I was covering the finish line at the ground level at the marathon. Everything was going on as usual. It was jovial — people were happy, clapping — and getting to a point where it gets a little boring as a photographer. And then we heard this explosion.
“It was sort of like, ok, what’s that all about? It wasn’t super loud but all you saw was the smoke. There was this big cloud of smoke and people screaming. The percussion from that explosion threw my cameras up in the air. Right in front of me, one of the runners fell on the ground — he was blown over from the blast. My instinct was…no matter what it is, you’re a photographer first, that’s what you’re doing. I ran towards the explosion, towards the police; they had their guns drawn. It was pandemonium. Nobody knew what was going on.
“The first thing I saw were people’s limbs blown off. Massive amounts of blood. It looked like BB holes in the back of some people. And a lot of anger. People were just angry. What’s going on? Why is this happening at the Boston Marathon?
“Maybe 15 seconds after the first explosion, while I was still shooting pictures, another explosion went off. And then there was panic. The cops told everybody to get off the street, that there could be another one.
“I can’t compare it to anything else I’ve ever been to. The horror. And the anger.”
— Boston Globe photojournalist JOHN THUMACKI, on witnessing — and documenting — the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.
(via Time magazine)