The senseless bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15 devastated the nation, but for a former Bachelorette contestant, the blasts hit close to home — literally.

Tyler Vermette — who vied for Ali Fedotowsky’s affection in season 6 of The Bachelorette — was at a Boston bar close to the finish line watching the race when two homemade bombs exploded, killing three and wounding more than 170 runners and spectators. Wetpaint Entertainment spoke exclusively with Tyler about his experience.

“So, I was 100 yards away in a second floor bar,” Tyler said. “We heard and saw [the bombs] go off as we were watching the finish line.”

Tyler had tweeted earlier that morning with excitement about watching what is arguably Boston’s biggest annual sporting event, drawing long-distance runners from all over the world. “Marathon Monday lets have a day, hello 9am open bar!”

Unfortunately, shortly before 3pm, Tyler’s celebratory vibe quickly turned to horror. “The smoke was everywhere and you could hear it so clearly and the building shook as well,” Tyler continued. “It was mayhem — people screaming, running up the street. People pushing those in wheelchairs. One woman we saw was covered in blood.”

Tyler and his friends fled to safety as soon as they could. “It was just madness.”

Madness is a pretty good word for it alright. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims and their families.