Strang Report, by Steve Strang, Founder of Charisma magazine

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Runner triage
A runner in a wheelchair is taken from a triage tent after explosions went off at the 117th Boston Marathon in Boston, Mass., April 15, 2013. (Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi)

My friend Bobby Inello gave me an exclusive interview that we put online Monday night. It’s so timely that I’m repeating it here for my Strang Report. Here is the article that I personally wrote at approximately 6 p.m., and below it is the edited transcript of the interview with Bobby.

We put my report online:

A Christian businessman who was in a restaurant at the finish line of the Boston Marathon saw a little boy’s leg blown off and then tried to comfort other restaurant patrons who were screaming in the aftermath of the bombing of the Boston Marathon.

Bobby Inello, who is also a member of Benny Hinn’s board of directors, was with a friend at a front table of a posh restaurant called Abe and Louie’s at 793 Boylston Street in Boston when two bombs went off.

As patrons and restaurant staff crowded the kitchen to get out into an alley behind the restaurant, it was total pandemonium, Inello said. “We were screaming, 'Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.' We were trying to calm down the people in the kitchen, telling them it was going to be OK,” he told Charisma News, adding that the police kept telling people to run toward the Charles River and away from the location of the bombings.

Still, he went back to the restaurant to find his friend Michael, who was inconsolable because of seeing the little boy lose his leg. There was very little time to minister to anyone because the police said to keep running. People were being trampled.

The restaurant doors had been open so patrons could see the end of the race as the winners came across the finish line. They heard a first explosion, which they knew was huge—either a car or building being blown up. Everyone stood to look to see what was happening when the second explosion went off moments later, shaking the restaurant and sending a shower of glass, debris and thick black smoke on them.

“I wasn’t a part of 9/11, and by no means was this anything close to 9/11,” Inello said. “However, I got a taste and feel of what must have happened that day with the pandemonium in the streets.”

Inello said seeing the blood and pandemonium was “totally nauseating.”

As people ran toward the Charles River, they were cut off from where their cars were parked in another area. Cell-phone reception was interrupted by authorities so that another bomb couldn’t be detonated. That meant people couldn’t text or call loved ones.

Inello, the president of several Boston companies, including Covenant Merchant Processing, is fine.

Later, we posted a transcript of Bobby’s actual interview because it was so compelling:

Sobbing, Shaking, Pandemonium: Witness Describes Boston Terrorist Attack

By Bobby Inello

A very prominent businessman in Boston invited me to a restaurant named Abe and Louie’s at the finish line of the marathon. The whole front of the restaurant opens to the street so you can view the marathon runners as they go by. We were at the first table in the front of the restaurant, just enjoying ourselves. Everyone was eating and drinking and having a wonderful day.

All of the sudden, we heard the most awful explosion that I have ever witnessed.

As soon as we heard the explosion, we knew it was something serious. We knew a building or a car had blown up—or something. The whole restaurant shook. We all stood up and walked to the front of the restaurant to see what was going on. As we were standing there looking, literally within seconds the second bomb went off right in front of us. Debris came in at us through the front of the restaurant.

The sound was something I’ll never forget. It was an explosion that I can’t describe. You’d have to hear it. There was a thick cloud of black smoke. Pandemonium broke out in the restaurant. All the tables were knocked over. You could hear glasses breaking. People started to panic.

As the dust started to settle, we saw a little boy whose leg was literally blown off. There was blood. It was disgusting and nauseating and frightening. We saw the boy’s father. His leg was burned. His pants were literally burned from his body. It was totally nauseating. We couldn’t get near the boy. Police wouldn’t let us near him.

At this point, everybody in the restaurant was panic-stricken. They ran to the back of the restaurant. But there was nowhere to go. Everyone was stuck in the kitchen. We were screaming, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.” We were trying to calm down the people in the kitchen, telling them it was going to be OK. Finally, they opened the rear doors of the restaurant and everybody, little by little, started to run out. People were starting to get trampled. We told them to calm down and slow down, and we tried to usher them out in an orderly fashion.

Then I realized that the gentleman I was with, who is a major developer in the Boston area, wasn’t with me. I went back to find him, and he was was sobbing inconsolably.  He just kept saying, “Did you see what happened to that little boy?” I told him I saw it and that I was sorry but that we had to get out of there. I literally had to drag him out of the restaurant. He was frozen with grief from what he had witnessed.

I was finally able to get my friend out of there. We went out the back door into the alley. There were police outside screaming, “Run! Run! Go! Run! Run!” There were literally thousands of people running away toward the Charles River. We got stuck in back alleys running, trying to get to a main thoroughfare. After two blocks of running full out, we stopped. We didn’t know to where we were running. At this point, all of the cell phones were shut down because authorities were concerned that someone could detonate another bomb using their cell phone. We couldn’t use our cell phones to call anyone.

I wasn’t a part of 9/11, and by no means was this anything close to 9/11. However, I got a taste and feel of what must have happened that day with the pandemonium in the streets. People were crying and sobbing and shaking. It was horrible, horrible, horrible. 

Bobby Inello is a Christian businessman from Boston. He is also a member of Benny Hinn's board of directors.

Steve Strang is the founder and publisher of Charisma. Follow him on Twitter at @sstrang or Facebook (stephenestrang).

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