Marblehead residents and brothers Keith and Mike Malament were standing at the end of Newbury Street across from the Boston Common watching the end of the 117th Boston Marathon when they heard two popping noises.
At first, Keith, 25, said they thought it could have been fireworks, but a few seconds later, it became clear that it was something far worse as they saw families running away from the noise.
Two bombs about 12 seconds apart, detonated near the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street shortly before 3 p.m. Pandemonium erupted in the area.
Within minutes they would be helping a woman injured in the blast get transportation away from the scene.
When they realized that there had been explosions, Keith and his brother Mike, 28, along with Keith's roommate and her friend, quickly began "b-lining" it back to his father's home on Staniford Street near Storrow Drive.
"I don’t think any of us fully knew what was going on," Keith said. "It was uncomfortable. We didn’t talk very much."
Keith who was tightly gripping the leash of his 2-year-old English golden retriever, Monty, was nervous that his dog would get trampled by the crowd of people trying to get away from the scene of the explosion.
As they got close to Storrow Drive, Keith's friend noticed a woman bleeding from her mid-section.
“She was bleeding profusely from the stomach," Keith said. "Not like she couldn’t stand up, but there was blood and it was clear like she was holding her stomach like it was messed up. She definitely got some shrapnel. There was a big wound.”
Keith added that she seemed very confused and said she just needed to "get home and rest."
Mike hopped in front of a cab driver that came their way, but said that he told them he was "trying to get out of here." They then hailed down a silver SUV that approached soon after, helping the woman into the back seat of the vehicle.
Throughout the chaos of getting to safety and helping a woman in need, Mike said they remained calm.
"It was all pretty surreal," Mike said. "We were just trying to help her and get on our way. I don’t really know what I felt."
The four finally reached their destination and it all sank in.
Although Keith and Mike were "in the moment" and trying to help a woman who sustained injuries from what President Obama is calling an "act of terrorism," they are saddened by the series of tragic events.
"It’s a horrible thing that happened and I feel incredibly saddened that people were directly injured themselves, or families injured and killed," Mike said. "It’s hard to believe. And it’s hard to believe that this happens on a regular basis in other parts of the world, that came to my mind too.
"Mostly I feel deeply saddened for people that were at the heart of the explosions and that were affected by it."