About15 people from Newfoundland and Labrador were taking part in today's Boston Marathon when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the race, killing two people and injuring 23. 

"It was terrible, I'd never seen something like that before," said Josee Hotton, 50, of St. John's, who had just completed running the 42.2 kilometre race.

Hotton was still near the finish line when the explosion happened. 

"We don't know what happened exactly... There was blood everywhere, people were running everywhere," she said.

"People were crying in the street."

There, 'not five minutes before'

Shawn Stratton, 38, of St. John's had just crossed the finish line minutes before the explosions, and had retired to a restaurant about 200 metres away with friends when the first explosion occurred.


Shawn Stratton, running in the Huffin' Puffin Marathon in St. John's on Sept. 23, 2012. (Courtesy Paul Lahey)

"We were probably just standing there taking pictures, where it happened, not five minutes before," said Stratton.

He said he saw some people starting to move quickly, away from the finish area, but then the second explosion occurred.

"A few seconds later, a much bigger bang happened," said Stratton.

"You could kind [of] smell the sulphur and see smoke blowing up the street. Everyone in the restaurant just went into panic mode. People were almost trampling over each other."

Other runners stopped before finish line

Linda Hensman, Judy Sheppard, and Dean Simon, all of St. John's, were stopped just before they reached the 40 kilometre mark.

CBC News reached Hensman via text messaging. She said they were told the race had been cancelled, and all she knew was that there was an explosion with injuries.

Michael Jong, from Happy Valley-Goose Bay, has spoken with family members. 

Jong told them he was away from the area when the explosion happened, and he didn't see a thing.

Canadians in Boston can contact the Canadian Consulate to add their contact information.