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A series of still frames paint a haunting picture of the chaos in Boston just moments after the marathon bombings. A warning to viewers of the video above, some of the photos may be disturbing. They were captured by Boston Globe photographer John Tlumacki, who stood steps away from the finish line when the explosions went off.
As the panic erupted, Tlumacki followed his journalistic instinct to move in closer to the devastation. His camera serving as a window to the calamity and in many ways, as his shield.
Tlumacki said he shaking when he was going through the photos he took.
"There were pictures I had of limbs blown off and people in agony," said Tlumacki. "I don't ever want to look at those again. I don't want people to see those."
As he stepped away from the celebration at Copley Square, the boom of explosions induced a gut-wrenching déjà vu for Frank Shorter. The legendary marathoner, who witnessed terrorists carry out the attack on Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, immediately thought, “Oh, no.”
“It was just too much coming all back together,” Shorter told CNN’s Jake Tapper Tuesday.
Shorter was sleeping on the balcony of his dormitory in the Olympic Village when he heard those first shots in 1972. He watched, from across the courtyard, as a man in a stocking cap, rifle slung over his shoulder, patrolled outside, 11 doomed Israelis awaiting their fate.
When he heard the blast in Boston Monday, Shorter recalled a single, sobering thought racing through his mind: That’s a bomb.
“I knew that anyone near something that severe, there were going to be fatalities,” Shorter said.
Forty yards away from the second device when it sent shrapnel flying in all directions, Shorter couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the smoke. The marathoner never anticipated an attack at a sporting event, with Munich-like ramifications, ever happening again.
Just yards away from the site of the explosion was a medical tent with a full compliment of doctors and nurses who were at the Boston Marathon volunteering to help with runners. As the bombs went off, they rushed out to tend to the wounded.
"It felt like everybody was my patient," said Christina Hernon, an emergency room physician from UMass Memorial Health Care. Hernon was just one of the heroic doctors who ran out to help.
"We heard and felt the first noise," Hernon said of the initial blast. "I knew I had never heard or felt anything like that before, and I definitely felt it throughout my whole body."
Hernon said after the first bomb, she immediately wondered if there was a gas explosion, if something fell, or if something backfired.
"After the second one, I found myself thinking of a colleague of mine that was in the Baghdad ER, and his description of being in a place providing medical care and hearing loud noises outside and wondering how close they were," said Hernon.
By Jake Tapper and Katie Hinman
Boston (CNN) - The streets are full of marathoners, easy to spot in their yellow and blue. But instead of celebrating their victories, they are wandering the city, unsure of what to do next.
"This is the stuff that happens in Bosnia or Syria. Not the United States," one woman told us.
Boston is a city on edge, like a war zone. The people we found were trying to pick up where yesterday so violently ended. The medals and the possessions of those who didn't finish the race, lined up like sad soldiers.
On one street, empty cups that once contained water for runners litter the roads, left as an ephemeral memorial to the panic felt after the twin blasts. Some of the witnesses came back with their children, one tackling the horrific situation with her kids, telling them that they are safe, and that there are lots of helpers making the city safe.
"Bad things like this happen, but there's many, many other people out there who are - who are making it right," she said.
Barely more than 24 hours ago, three of the people in the Boston Marathon's cheerful crowd were forever silenced, including 8-year-old Martin Richard. We now know more than 170 others, aged 2 to 71, are recovering from the physical wounds of these horrifying blasts.
"Severe trauma in lower extremities that was beyond salvation, so I would consider them almost automatic amputees, we just completed what the bomb had done," said Dr. George Velmahos, of Massachusetts General Hospital.
And the bombs, we now know, were loaded with shrapnel for maximum destruction.
"There is no question that some of these devices were, some of these objects were planted in the device for the purpose of being exploded forward when the bomb went off, so these are small – they are about two to three millimeters in diameter. And we have also removed over a dozen small carpenter-type nails from one patient," said Dr. Ron Walls, of Brigham and Women's Hospital.