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Three UGA runners confirmed alive, uninjured in Boston Marathon bombings - The Red and Black : Ugalife

Three UGA runners confirmed alive, uninjured in Boston Marathon bombings

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Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 4:17 pm | Updated: 3:48 pm, Thu Nov 20, 2014.

Three University of Georgia members and 10 total residents of Athens were running in the Boston Marathon when two explosions rocked the race near its finish line, according to the Boston Marathon website.

The explosions have resulted in two deaths and at least 20 injuries according to multiple media reports. However, all three UGA members — two students and one faculty member — have been confirmed as uninjured.

Raymond Lee Swetenburg, a student, had finished the race an hour earlier and heard and saw the bomb blasts from his parents' hotel room, two blocks from the finish line.

"It is absolutely horrifying. They have completely shut down the streets and there are dozens of ambulances lined up to take people away," Swetenburg said via text message.

Erik Ness, an assistant professor in the UGA Institute of Higher Education, has also been confirmed as uninjured and safe in his hotel room.

"He is OK," said Jim Hearn, the interim director of UGA's Institute of Higher Education.  "We have talked to him and his family and they are just back in the hotel and watching everything on the television."

Bryan David Loy, a second-year Ph.D. student studying psychology, finished the race before the bombings and was safe.

"I finished around one o'clock," Loy said. "We were in the finish line area for a while after I finished. Then we made our way to the train in Boston. We made it back to our friend's house and checked our phones and realized something had happened at the finish line."

He said the biggest tragedy was that the marathon serves as a de facto holiday for the local colleges, schools and businesses.

"It's shocking because of how much hospitality and appreciation the city of Boston shows on Marathon Monday," Loy said. "That something like this could happen."

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