With President Obama preparing to visit Newtown for a private vigil, scores of people from neighbouring states have also been making the trip to pay their respects and share some of the terrible pain. Some survivors and relatives of the victims have been describing how their loved ones managed to escape the bloodbath. Kerin Hage’s eight daughter was in class when the shootings began at Sandy Hook elementary school. “She heard everything, the shots, the doors slamming, people yelling,” Hage said through tears. “She just wanted to come here, her heart was racing and she was scared.” Ben Paley and his 9-year-old twin brother Ethan were in different parts of the school when the guns went off. They were not reunited until they both arrived at a nearby fire station. “We heard gunshots, that didn’t sound like our army gunshots or our policemean gunshots…and we all hid in my teacher’s office,” he said. While heroic tales of teachers protecting their pupils have provided succour to some, many have sought solace in the company of others by attending memorials for the victims.