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Boston blasts sounded like car engine pop: Kazakhstan citizens in U.S.

16 april 2013, 14:59
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Yessengeldy Rakhimbekov. Photo courtesy of social network
Yessengeldy Rakhimbekov. Photo courtesy of social network
Almas Serkebayev. Photo courtesy of headline.kz
Almas Serkebayev. Photo courtesy of headline.kz
A Kazakhstan citizen living in Boston told Tengrinews.kz about the blasts. Yessengeldy Rakhimbekov studies at school not far from Boston. The student from Almaty was 3 minutes walk away from the accident site. The attack happened in the academic region of the city that home to universities where dozens of Kazakhstan citizens study and live.

Yessengeldy was going to see the finish of the marathon. He heard two pops one after another at around 3 p.m. on his way to the event. In the beginning he did not pay much attention to them as, according to him, the sound reminded the sound of a car failure and such pops are heard quite frequently in the city. But on their way out of the dormitory Rakhimbekov and his friends saw a broadcast from the accident sit on TV. “There were many firefighters, police officers and doctors in the city. They were entering the city from all sides on different vehicles. Things were happening very fast from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Almost all the roads were closed. I was around 3 minutes walk away from the finish of the marathon,” Rakhimbekov said.

According to him, two of his friends were at the blast site. One of them got on the last train that left the city 5 minutes before the accident and also heard two pops. According to Rakhimbekov, the train station is 100m away from the Boston marathon’s finish. Another Rakhimbekov’s friend was at the stands with his family. “They left for a bite at 02:30 p.m. and saw the blast right after they came back,” Rakhimbekov said. According to the Kazakhstan citizen, the blast was accompanied by a strong stroke. First there was a pop then the smoke came. But the blast was not loud.

Rakhimbekov said that Kazakhstan citizen most probably did not take part in the marathon. “There would have been our flag. But there was none. I went there yesterday. It is in the center of Boston, right between the shopping street and the mall. I saw different flags there, including Russian and all flags of Western European countries. I think those were the ones who took part in the marathon,” Rakhimbekov said.

Kazakhstan Foreign Ministry has confirmed that there were no Kazakhstan citizens among the victims of the blast, according to the preliminary information.

According to Rakhimbekov, there was no way to take photos at the accident site: police were instructed to shoot suspicious persons without notice. “They said on the news that an American ran to an Arab during the blast, stroke him down to the ground and handed to the police. All that Arab did was seat at the tribune,” Rakhimbekov said.

Another Kazakhstan citizen, Almas Serkebayev, a composer living in Boston since 1988, heard about the attack from the news on TV. There were none of his friends among the victims. He also saw all the movement in the city. Serkebayev is not planning to leave Boston. “Terrorism is such a terrible thing and nobody does anything about it,” Serkebayev said. “My wife works not far from that place, at the next street in fact. She said that all the streets were blocked by the police, fire-fighters and FBI. She was at work in the elevator during the blast and didn’t hear anything. She was later told about the blasts and everyone was sent home. The whole area has been blocked and nobody is allowed in there.”

Yessengeldy Rakhimbekov managed to leave Boston on a rented bicycle: pedestrians and cyclers were not stopped on the bridges and in tunnels, while all the cars were blocked. “There were police officers with guns at the bridges. They were perhaps scared that all the citizens would rush to leave Boston.” According to him, documents of the pedestrians were not checked. He did not see any document checks among car drivers either. Rakhimbayev spent three days in Boston before the blast. He came to the city to visit his friends. According to him, the situation in the city before the attack was quiet and the weather was good for the first time in a long time.


By Alisher Akhmetov

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