Former Fairy Meadow resident Sam Jackson, who is now living in Boston, said an ‘‘eerie calm’’ has descended over the US city in the wake of a deadly bombing this afternoon.
Two bombs exploded on Bolyston St around 3pm, US time, at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, in the popular area of Back Bay, killing at least three people and injuring scores more.
Mr Jackson, who is co-founder of the Aussie-themed restaurant and catering business KO Pies in South Boston, worked throughout the afternoon and said the tragedy occurred on one of the city’s most popular days of the year - Marathon Monday.
‘‘We didn’t hear any explosions,’’ said Mr Jackson, whose business is located about a mile from the site of the explosion in Copley Square.
‘‘But today is a really unique day in Boston. The marathon is on, there’s a really famous Red Sox [baseball] game on. So everyone is spilling into Copley Square. It’s peak hour down there. Most people have the day off and there’s a lot of bars and restaurants in that area, so people really congregate there.
‘‘You go out just to enjoy yourself, there’s nothing political about it.’’
The explosions struck on Patriots Day, which is a public holiday in the US state of Massachusetts.
In the wake of the bombing, Mr Jackson and his co-workers were kept informed by customers and police officers who visited the business.
He said the timing of the bombs, which exploded around four hours after the marathon began, meant that many of the runners who were targeted would have been participating simply for fun or to raise money for charity.
‘‘A lot of runners do [the Boston marathon] for charity. If you’re not an awesome runners, you just do it to raise money,’’ said the 34-year-old chef, who has lived in Boston for around six years.
‘‘That’s what’s so cruel about it. Most of the people coming in at that hour would have been running to raise money.’’
The city was placed in the lockdown following the explosion, with mobile reception in the city also down for a time.
Mr Jackson said a state of shock has descended over the city in the hours since the attack.
But he said the community had already begun to pull together, with many restaurants offering free food and water.
‘‘There are people everywhere, but no-one is really talking,’’ he said. ‘‘There’s a real nervous energy.
‘‘We were doing whatever we could to make people feel comfortable.’’
Despite the horror of the day, Mr Jackson was confident that the people of Boston could move past the tragedy.
‘‘Bostonians are pretty resilient people. We’re not going to be scared and cowering. If anything, this is going to make the community stronger.’’