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Students shocked, disheartened by Marathon attack

Daniel Traub was running on the Esplanade near Boston University on Marathon Monday when he made a turn to go toward Copley Square. He was almost there when suddenly, a woman stopped him and told him to turn around.

“She just said two bombs had gone off and that everything was a mess and that the place was torn apart,” he said. “She offered her phone to me if I needed to call anyone.”

Traub, a Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences sophomore, was one of many BU students near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on Monday when two explosions went off, killing at least three people and injuring more than 100.

Among those affected, one BU student was critically injured, according to an email to students from BU President Robert Brown. The student could not be identified at press time.

“Boston University police have stayed on duty to protect our campus and support Boston and state police,” Brown said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who have experienced a dreadful loss and those whose loved ones are terribly injured.”

Nathan Barbagallo, a College of General Studies freshman, said he and his friends were at 100 Bay State Road when they decided to try to head to the finish line to see the close of the race.

“We were going to go to the tents and see what happened,” he said. “We were all going to get jackets to go and then right when we were in Myles [Standish Hall], our friend texted us … We turned on the news and it was all over the place.”

Barbagallo said he was discomforted to learn that the explosion injured a BU student.

“I know a lot of the people who go to this event are BU students, and I figured the odds were high, but it’s still just too close for comfort — just right around the corner like that,” he said.

While cellphone service was largely unreliable Monday, Barbagallo said his phone rang off the hook as soon as it started working.

“Right when it [service] came up my phone exploded and literally my entire family was pouring in all these texts and calls, and even people that I hadn’t talked to in a really long time [contacted me],” he said. “Friends I hadn’t talked to since sophomore year of high school had texted me asking what happened and if everybody was okay.”

Barbagallo said he planned on using Skype to talk to a close friend Monday evening to discuss what happened at the finish line.

“It was such a tragic event but it really brought a lot of people together,” he said. “When something like this happens, you forget about the little differences.”

Asia Alsgaard, a College of Arts and Sciences freshman, was also on her way to Copley Square when she heard news of the explosions.

“I was seeing police cars going down and people looking kind of odd, which made me stop and turn around to figure out what was going on,” she said. “Afterward, it was mainly just trying to figure out where everyone was.”

She said one of her friends had to walk back to campus from Logan International Airport because there were no taxis available.

Alsgaard said she is worried about being in Boston in the wake of such an alarming incident. However, she said she is sure Boston will be safer for future marathons due to what happened Monday.

“It makes me feel nervous,” she said. “I was talking to people, and now all of the Boston Marathons are probably going to be super safe because everyone is going to be so worried about this happening again.”

Traub said while he was scared to be near where the bombs went off, he feels safe at BU.

“Obviously it was a terrible thing but there are much worse places to be in the world,” he said. “It’s not like you should just blow it off, but if you let everything get to you like that then you’re never ever going to be able to really live somewhere, because there’s always the possibility that something can happen.”

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