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UCLA confirms safety of employees who were en route to Boston during explosions, awaits information about others affected

By Sonali Kohli

April 16, 2013 2:20 p.m.

[UPDATED at 3:57 p.m.: UCLA has confirmed the safety of two employees who were scheduled to arrive in Boston after Monday’s explosions at the 2013 Boston Marathon, said university spokesman Phil Hampton.

The other five people the university’s Office of Insurance and Risk Management identified as in or en route to Boston on Monday afternoon were not UCLA employees or students, but had business with the university and had booked their flights through UCLA Travel, Hampton said.

One of the employees responded to an email from the Office of Insurance and Risk Management and confirmed her safety. The other employee contacted the university by phone and confirmed his safety.

The university emailed the other five people Monday afternoon, but has not followed up further.

None of the seven people who had registered or booked their flights through the university was a current UCLA student, Hampton said.

Two former UCLA athletes, Matt and Nicole Reis, were at the Boston Marathon with their family during the explosions. Both are safe, but Nicole Reis’ father was injured, according to a statement from the New England Revolution soccer team, where Matt Reis now plays. The family has requested privacy, according to an email from New England Revolution spokeswoman Lizz Summers.

Two current UCLA students who were also at the marathon during the explosions are safe and uninjured, the students said in separate phone interviews with the Daily Bruin.

Second-year communication studies student Alex Wood completed the marathon about an hour before the explosions. Fourth-year business economics student Kaytlin Louton was a spectator near Boston College, which is at mile 21 of the marathon.

Third-year computational systems and biology student Thomas Curran was also registered to run in the race. Friends of Curran’s confirmed to The Bruin via text message and phone that he is safe, but The Bruin has not spoken directly with Curran.

There were two explosions Monday near the finish line of the 117th annual Boston Marathon, one of the oldest and most beloved marathon’s in the country. Three people, including an 8-year-old boy, were killed and more than 100 were injured, according to the Boston Police Department.

[UPDATED at 4:15 p.m.: The explosives probably involved fragments of BBs and nails possibly contained in a pressure cooker and probably carried in dark nylon bags, said Rick DesLauriers, FBI special agent in charge, during a press conference at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

There were no suspects as of that time, and DesLauriers encouraged people to continue providing video from the scene, and to call the FBI if they had tips about recent explosion-like sounds in remote location, or about people expressing interest in explosives, in targeting the Boston Marathon or in the date of April 15.]

President Barack Obama said the FBI is investigating the explosions as an act of terrorism, during an 8:30 a.m. press conference on Tuesday. As of that time, the FBI was interviewing people and no one had been arrested.

Contributing reports by Naheed Rajwani, Bruin senior staff, and Yancey Cashell, Bruin contributor.

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