Double disaster man gives death a miss

A bomb exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon seconds after Berti finished the race

Written by Associated Press | Published: April 20, 2013 2:56 am

People keep asking Joe Berti if he feels unlucky.

A bomb exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon seconds after Berti finished the race. Two days later,he was in Texas when he saw a fertilizer plant explode. “I was just like,‘I can’t believe this!’ “ said Berti,who said he had never witnessed an explosion before. Then he thought: “I just want to get out of here and get away from all these explosions.’’

Berti feels fortunate. He left both tragedies unscathed,while members of his running group and his wife — who was closer to the Boston explosion than he was — were also unhurt.

“It’s a miracle,’’ he said in an interview with The Associated Press Thursday. “Not only do I not feel unlucky,I feel blessed that my wife could be 10 yards from the explosion and not have a scratch.’’

“We’re grateful that God has been merciful to us,” said Berti’s wife,Amy. “We are just praying for the people who were so much less fortunate than we were.”

Berti’s road to the marathon started just a couple months ago,when he decided to run with a charity that helps kids with rare or undiagnosed disorders.

Near the end,the 43-year-old Berti felt his body shutting down,and his pace slowed. But he vowed to finish. “I had just run to the finish line and like 30 seconds later I heard the first explosion,and then turned around and saw the smoke,” he said.

As the night unfolded

Thursday,about 5:10 pm

FBI announces law enforcement has identified two suspects. Video footage released show a man known as Suspect No. 1 wearing a dark baseball cap. He was later identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev,26. Suspect No. 2,later identified as Tsarnaev’s brother, Dzhokhar,was wearing a white cap backwards in the images. The 30-second videos are played repeatedly on national television.

9:04 pm

Russian language social networking site VK shows someone logged for the last time out of what appears to be Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s page. The site had been accessed via mobile .

10:20 pm

Shots fired on Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus. Two men rob a convenience store on campus.

10:30 pm

Police discover MIT campus police officer Sean Collier,26,shot multiple times in his car in an apparent confrontation with suspects.

Shortly after 10:30 pm

Police say the duo carjack a Mercedes SUV. Police chase SUV into Watertown. Suspects throw explosives from car and exchange gunfire.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev is hit during the shootout. He is taken into custody,transported to a hospital and later pronounced dead.

Before 1 am Friday

Huge manhunt launched for second suspect. Hundreds of cops and FBI agents descend on Watertown.

Between 3 AM and 4 am

Massachusetts police announce they will conduct a door-to-door search in Watertown. Citizens are warned to stay indoors.

Around 5:30 am

Train service in Boston suspended

8 am

Massachusetts officials announce they have expanded shelter-in-place recommendations for entire Boston,effectively putting the city in lockdown as they search for Tsarnaev.

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