The photo of Carlos Arredondo in his cowboy hat pushing the critically injured Jeff Bauman in a wheelchair is one the most recognized images from the Boston Marathon bombings in April.
“I knew the picture I had was important when I shot it,” Associated Press photographer Charles Krupa said in an interview Friday about the tragedy and how he covered one of the most important news stories of 2013. “It said a lot. Not only because of the trauma, but because of how people stepped up and did something for a perfect stranger.”
But, Krupa, a resident of Derry, was almost unable to make it to the scene.
Two bombs had exploded near the finish line on April 15. Three spectators, including an 8-year-old boy, were killed and more than 260 spectators and runners were injured.
Krupa was in the press room at the Copley Plaza hotel when he heard the first explosion.
“I had just finished filing our marathon photos and we were just packing up to leave,” he said. “I heard the first boom. It resonated. It sounded like it might have been a forklift outside. I figured they were starting to break down the infrastructure and a pallet of metal pipes had fallen on the ground or something.”
Less than 10 seconds later, Krupa heard a second boom.
“My first instinct was that it was definitely an explosion,” he said. “Shortly after that, security came in and told us that there was an explosion, and that everything was in lockdown.
“You have a press room full of journalists,” he said. “Their instinct was to cover the story. But they were told no one in, no one out.”
There were guards at every visible exit to the room. But Krupa, who was covering his 25th Boston Marathon, knew one exit that wasn’t covered.