Joe Berti witnessed and survived marathon bombing, fertilizer plant explosion
Berti, a 43-year-old runner from Texas, ran in the Boston marathon on Monday and crossed the race’s finish line about 30 seconds before two bombs exploded. He then returned to his hometown of Austin and witnessed the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, that left at least five people dead.
Berti was running in the Boston marathon with the Champions4Children charity group, The Associated Press reports. His wife was also in Boston and waiting for him by the finish line when the bombs went off. She and a friend were hit by shrapnel, though she was uninjured. The Bertis were able to reunite at their hotel room in Boston.
After returning to Texas, Berti had meetings in Dallas Wednesday and happened to be driving near Waco on his way home to Austin when he saw and felt an explosion. He had no idea what it was, but told the AP it looked like pictures of nuclear explosions.
Many people have been telling Berti he’s unlucky to witness both events, but he feels differently.
“It’s a miracle,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday. “People keep saying, ‘Don’t you feel unlucky?’ and I was actually the opposite — saying not only do I not feel unlucky, but I feel blessed that my wife could be 10 yards from the explosion and not have a scratch.”
Berti’s name may go down in history with the likes of Tsutomu Yamaguchi. Yamaguchi was officially recognized by Japan as the only person to survive both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings in World War II. Berti is definitely fortunate to be alive.
See all our stories related to the Boston marathon bombings.