South Floridians who spent Monday in Boston at or near the site of the marathon bombing began returning home Tuesday, thankful to have survived the tragedy.
"I was there about a block away from the explosion, we were just watching our friend compete and he had finished, thank God he finished like five minutes before," said John Carlin, who arrived at Miami International Airport early Tuesday. "Then we heard two blasts, within about 10 seconds of each other and then everybody started running towards us trying to get away."
Carlin said his friend wasn't hurt in the bombings, which left three people dead and 176 injured near the finish line for the race.
Carlin, who said he was in Washington D.C. on 9/11, said hearing the explosions and seeing the smoke at the marathon site gave him an eerie feeling of deja vu.
Half a dozen flights were expected to arrive at MIA Tuesday as runners and spectators made their way home. Muriel Martell said she was happy to have made it back home to South Florida after vacationing in Boston but was upset and saddened by what happened.
"We were concerned that we wouldn't be able to fly out, we had no idea if the airport would be open but it seems pretty controlled, but upsetting," she said.
More South Florida runners who competed in the marathon returned to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Tuesday night. Bryan Huberty recounted what he'd witnessed.
“I had just taken a shower, and all of a sudden we heard a loud blast, and we went out to the window and had a clear view of it, and saw a huge plume of smoke, and people screaming and running, and it was crazy,” he said.
More Marathon Bombing Coverage:
- Neighbors Recall 8-Year-Old Marathon Bombing Victim
- VIDEO: Sports World Reacts to Boston Marathon Explosions
- 78-Year-Old Runner Knocked Down By Blast: It was a Close One