Correction: Marathon Explosions-Contact story

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 20, 2013 at 4:02 pm •  Published: April 20, 2013
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CHICAGO (AP) — In an April 15 story about the frantic efforts by family and friends to contact Boston marathon runners in the immediate aftermath of Monday's bombings, The Associated Press erroneously reported the location of a reporter who contributed to the story. He was in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, not North Dakota.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Loved ones seek word on Boston runners after blast

In chaotic aftermath of explosions at Boston Marathon, loved ones seek word about runners

By TAMMY WEBBER

Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Far-flung family members, co-workers and friends frantically used social media, cellphones and even a "people finder" website Monday to try to learn the fate of participants and spectators at the Boston Marathon, where three people were killed and dozens injured after a pair of bombs exploded near the finish line of one of the world's great races.

The search was made more difficult because heavy cellphone use caused slow and delayed service. In an age connected by everything digital, the hours after the blasts produced a tense silence.

At the race, 51-year-old Julie Jeske, of Bismarck, N.D., had finished about 15 minutes before the explosions and was about two blocks away when she heard two loud booms. She immediately tried to call her parents but could not place the call. A friend was able to post on Facebook that they were OK, but reaching her parents was another worry.

"I wasn't able to call and I felt so bad," Jeske said. "When I was finally able to reach them, my mom said she was just absolutely beside herself with fear."

In Seattle, Lisa Cliggett was waiting for any word from her brother and sister-in-law.

Mark Cliggett, 51, and his wife, Dr. Janet Vogelzang, 54, have run several marathons together and always send their sons text messages after crossing the finishing line. On Monday, those messages didn't arrive and the couple could not be reached via cellphone.

Lisa Cliggett said she went to the marathon's website and tried to calculate where the couple should be based on their last locations and running speeds. She decided they should have already finished the race when the blasts hit.

"The question is, do you loiter around the finish line?" she said. "And where was the bomb?"

Finally, about three hours after the blasts, the couple called their sons to tell they were unhurt. Matt Cliggett sent his sister a text that said, "We were about 100 yards from second explosion. Sad day."

Google also stepped in to help family and friends of runners find their loved ones, setting up a site called Google Person Finder that allows users to enter the name of a person they're looking for or enter information about someone who was there. A few hours after the explosion, the site indicated it was tracking 3,600 records.



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