In the aftershock of the Boston Marathon bombing, reports continue to come in from college students who witnessed the horror firsthand.

Zack Sampson and Emma McGrath of Northeastern’s Huntington News report.

Three students injured, many others bore witness

Jennifer Li was steps away from the first bomb.

There was a fleeting moment of stunned silence. Smoke rose in the air and people fell to the pavement, bleeding.

A sophomore chemistry major, it was Li’s first visit to the Boston Marathon, a hallmark of the city’s Patriots’ Day celebration each year. On Monday, two explosions rocked the finish line on Boylston Street, killing three people and injuring more than 170 others.

In a letter to the Northeastern community, President Joseph E. Aoun said three Northeastern students were injured in the two explosions, which came 12 seconds apart. None of the students suffered life-threatening injuries.

Li was standing on Boylston Street at 2:50 p.m., when the first bomb – a pressure cooker filled with nails and BBs – sent shrapnel flying into spectators there to cheer on the runners.

“We thought it was a celebration kind of thing because that’s what you would expect at a finish line,” Li said of the initial blast.

Then came another explosion further down the road. Screams became the soundtrack to chaos. Li said that the woman standing directly next to her was bleeding from shards of glass that had hit her leg. Others had their limbs completely torn off in the blast.

“People were just bleeding all over the place,” Li said.

She managed to flee uninjured to a nearby restaurant.

The bombings, deemed an act of terrorism, have resonated across the world. The FBI is leading the investigation into the explosions, and no suspects have been arrested yet, according to authorities. In Boston, the attack has unified the city and strengthened the resolve of its people.