Pendle mother and daughter escape Boston Marathon blasts

DEVASTATED: Nicola Nuttall and her daughter Laura just before the terrifying explosions in Boston on Monday afternoon (S)
DEVASTATED: Nicola Nuttall and her daughter Laura just before the terrifying explosions in Boston on Monday afternoon (S)

A Pendle mum has spoken of her devastation after she and her family witnessed the terrifying aftermath of the Boston Marathon explosions.

Nicola Nuttall (43), of Park Street, Barrowford, was in a city centre hotel with her daughter Laura and sister Leo Anson, when two bombs ripped through crowds on Boylston Street on Monday afternoon.

The blasts, which exploded near to the marathon finish line, killed three people, including an eight-year-old boy, and left hundreds needing treatment.

Mrs Nuttall, who is captain of Trawden AC’s ladies team had managed to secure herself a place in the prestigious event, but was unable to take part due to a prolapsed disc.

Having already made travel plans, she and her family decided to “go anyway and just enjoy the trip” — only to have her excitement turned into an overwhelming sense of fear.

Talking from the Colonnade Hotel, in Huntington Street, shortly after the blasts, the owner of Nelson’s children’s play centre Giddy Kippers said: “We are devastated by what we’ve seen and the stories we’ve heard from other guests. We have had nothing but great experiences here in Boston, the people have been so friendly and kind.

“Laura is naturally very frightened as the police are still looking for other devices, and we don’t feel very safe at the moment.

“There were 15 ambulances plus swat vehicles and fire engines outside our hotel. The street is sealed off by the police, and we are getting updates from the hotel staff and obviously from local news stations.

“Yesterday we all took part in a 5k race, which used the same finish line as today’s marathon. I could only walk it, very slowly, so Leo and Laura had to stand and wait for me just where the explosion took place today, by the flags of all nations on Boylston Street.”

Mrs Nuttall, who is also mum to Gracie (11), shared how she had just been to a Red Sox baseball game with her daughter, a Skipton Girls’ High School student, and her sister, from Standish, Wigan.

She added that the atmosphere prior to the marathon was “brilliant”, with everybody enjoying the sunshine and Patriots’ Day. The family returned to England on Wednesday.

Following the carnage, President Barack Obama gave a short statement at the White House. While he did not use the word “terrorism” he did state that “we will find out who did this and will hold them accountable”. Now, security plans are being reviewed in the run-up to Sunday’s London Marathon.

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson, who is currently gearing up to take part in the Pennine Lancashire 10k, said: “As someone who is getting ready myself to run a race for charity, I know that such an attack would be the last thing on participant’s minds.

“On a day that should have been about celebrating community spirit, charity, generosity and the courage and determination of the runners, there can be no justification for this mindless attack on innocent people. I am sure we all extend our sympathies to everyone caught up in this and their families.”