CHINCHILLA girl Olivia McIntyre is counting her blessings after being just minutes away from the Boston Marathon bomb blasts on Monday (US Time).
Olivia, an exchange student at Boston University who lives on campus only blocks from the bomb scene, is well-known in the Chinchilla community as Miss Showgirl 2012.
Olivia was ready to leave home for the marathon when a friend sent her a text, warning her of the blasts which killed three people and injured more than 100..
The daughter of Chinchilla residents Andrew and Di McIntyre, Olivia was quick to contact her parents soon after the bombings to assure them she was okay.
Olivia also contacted Chinchilla News on Tuesday and yesterday and has been filing first-hand accounts of what she has experienced in the aftermath.
In her words on Tuesday:
It is all pretty surreal at the moment. I was about to head down to the Boston Marathon finish line because I had heard it is what you are meant to do for Marathon Monday.
Then my friend sent me a message saying that a bomb had just gone off. I didn't really believe them at first and just thought they were pulling a terrible joke. So at first I brushed it off, until my friend who lives down the hall from me told me that it was all over the news.
After hearing that, I was in a bit of a panic, I didn't really know what to do as I had never been in a situation like this before.
It is something you see on the news and would never think anything like this could happen. I called mum and dad straight away even though it was 5am. As soon as mum answered, I just said, "If you see anything on the news, don't worry, I am fine''.
Probably not the best thing to wake someone up with, but I thought it would be best if she heard it from me instead of the news. After I got off the phone I tried calling all my friends who I knew were around the area to see if they were okay.
I couldn't get a hold of any of them as the phone towers had been shut off in case the bombers were using a mobile detonation. This just made the panic even worse.
We tried to look out our windows to see if anything was happening, we could only see the fire that was at the JFK library.
I live pretty much in the middle of the JFK library and where the bomb happened.
We also saw people running everywhere, traffic was in a panic. I also live near the police stations and the hospitals, so within about a five- minute span, I saw about 30 plus armoured vehicles drive by on the way up to the hospital.
Eventually we were able to contact everyone, and luckily, everyone I know is safe and at home but they are all in a state of shock - most were crying uncontrollably.
One friend told me to pack an apocalypse pack just in case and said that if there was another explosion, that she was leaving the city and I should go with her to her family.
I know a lot of people from New York and they were all saying how it was a similar feeling to that of September 11.
It is just a surreal experience at the moment and I am still trying to come to terms with what has happened. There are reports going around about suspicious unattended bags. (One was reported on my campus).
We have just all been told to stay inside and not gather in large groups. After it happened, they locked down major attractions in New York and Washington.
One of my friends was down near the area where it happened.
They didn't know what was going on. They didn't hear anything - all they could see was people running frantically and yelling to everyone else to run.
They were really scared and eventually one lady stopped for them and told them what was happening. She told them that there was an explosion and to get to somewhere safe as quick as possible.
Another friend was near there and people were telling them to come into apartments to take shelter.
I guess you could say I am a little homesick but I am lucky to have such a great group of friends here, so we are all supporting each other through this time. Also, mum and dad are coming over in two weeks, so that will be really good timing to see them I think.
The whole city is pretty much on lock down at the moment.
At every train station they are searching every passenger to make sure nothing is on them. Cabs refused to run for a while. There are barely any cars on the streets. Just emergency vehicles.
On a side note, I was just looking out the window while on the phone to mum and saw a detonation vehicle drive by.
Also, there were two bomb explosions, two more bombs found and a fire (not 100% sure if the fire is related yet).
The mayor said it was then he withdrew his comments.
It is just all really overwhelming right now.
I am meant to have uni tomorrow and it is finals week, but we don't know if we will be going to classes yet.
The mood all round at the moment is disbelief and shock.
We just don't really know what to do and can't believe it could happen to such a beautiful place like Boston.
Since January I have been in the blizzard Nemo and now this. I just hope that what they say about bad things happening in threes is not true.
There is a lot of conspiracy at the moment as to who would do that.
Today was Patriot's Day and the JFK presidential library was hit. It was also Marathon Monday, the oldest marathon in America.
Anyway, that is all I can think of right now. I am sorry for how long it is, I hope you get what you need. I also have some photos of the armored vehicles driving by my window if you would like them.
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