Explosions Rock Boston Marathon Finish Line [VIDEO]
Two explosions went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon injuring at least 130 people, and killing at least 3 people according to Boston Police including an 8-year-old. Of those 124 people, 15 of them are in critical condition.
The FBI has taken the lead on the investigation into the bombing as victims continue to be treated at heavily guarded hospitals in and around Boston.
CNN reports that a law enforcement advisory is telling officers to be on the lookout for a “darker-skinned or black male” with a possible foreign accent in connection with bombing
The man was seen with a black backpack and sweatshirt and was trying to get into a restricted area about five minutes before the first explosion, the lookout notice states.
At an evening press conference investigators would not elaborate on a Saudi national’s connection with the bombing. He has a leg wound and was under guard at a Boston hospital. They would not call him a suspect.
Police are going through trash cans and items left behind by runners & spectators for evidence and other possible explosive items.
Investigators will hold another briefing on Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m.
President Obama promised “we will get to the bottom of this” and “those responsible for explosions `will feel the full weight of justice’
Massachusetts Congressman Bill Keating (D), a member of the House Homeland Security committee, said an unexploded device was found at a hotel on Boylston Street, and another unexploded device was found at an undisclosed location. Keating described the incidents as a “sophisticated, coordinated, planned attack.”
CBS reports one of the devices was found under the grandstand.
At a later press conference, Boston Police backed off making a connection between a fire at the ice the John F. Kennedy Library in the Dorchester section of Boston, which is not near the Marathon route, and the Marathon explosions. WBZ TV in Boston says that a meeting at the library was cancelled due to electrical problems.
Police are still investigating a connection between the incidents. They ask the for the public’s help in reporting anything suspicious they may have seen this afternoon.
CBS also reports surveillance photos show a man carrying a backpack in the area where the explosions went off. Boston Police, however, say no suspect is in custody.
No Cell Phone Shut Down
Several cell phone providers deny that they shut down cell phone service in Boston immediately after the explosions. “Verizon Wireless has not been asked by any government agency to turn down its wireless service,” a spokesman told CNN. Cell service around the Boston area was overloaded and caused gaps and delays of service
Massachusetts Governor Duval Patrick (D) urged people to get out of the area and not to congregate in groups.
Boston Police and Homeland Security say there were no credible threats made to the race leading to speculation that the attack may be “home grown” according to WBZ TV.
A no-fly zone over the site of two explosions at the annual Boston marathon has been lifted.
Some Business As Usual
Boston Mayor Tom Menino is urging people who work in Boston to report as usual. However, Governor Patrick warns there will be heightened security with backpack and bag checks. The MBTA’s Copley Square station will be closed on Tuesday. The Green Line, however, will operate through the Back Bay, making stops at Hynes and Arlington Stawtions.
The Boston Bruins game against the Ottawa Senators at Boston Garden tonight has been cancelled. The Celtics game with the Indiana Pacers tomorrow night has also been cancelled and will not be made up.
Flights are getting in and out of Boston’s Logan Airport but all trains out of Boston’s North Station headed for the northern suburbs are being stopped and riders are being searched.
2 Explosions 15 Seconds Apart
The first explosion happened across from the Lenox Hotel; the second explosion rang out about 15 seconds later. WCVB TV which reports some of the injuries involved lost limbs.
The Boston Marathon’s Facebook page said the explosions were caused by bombs.
“I was turning the corner. I was near the Hynes (Convention) Center. I saw two explosions. I just turned around and ran. It was a fireball — a huge fireball,” one runner told WCVB TV.
Much of the Back Bay section of Boston has been put on lockdown including Emerson College. Service on the MBTA subway through the area has been suspended.
New Jersey’s EMS Task Force has issued a heightened state of readiness due to the explosion for the next 12 hours.
Due to the events in Boston – the NJ EMS Task Force has issued a HEIGHTENED STATE OF READINESS order to all major… fb.me/GtN0Yszw
— NJ EMS Task Force (@NJEMSTF) April 15, 2013
Neither race officials nor public officials could immediately estimate the number or degree of injuries.
A Patriots Day Tradition
Thousands were gathered at the finish line across from the Boston Public Library and the Prudential Center as the twin explosions went off. “There are a lot of people down,” said one man, whose bib No. 17528 identified him as Frank Deruyter of North Carolina. He was not injured, but marathon workers were carrying one woman, who did not appear to be a runner, to the medical area as blood gushed from her leg. A Boston police officer was wheeled from the course with a leg injury that was bleeding. Many of the injured appeared to be spectators who gathered for the 117th running of the race in Boston’s Copley Square. Runners were still coming down Boylston Street as the explosion went off and were diverted onto another street towards a tent where many runners meet up with friends and family at the end of the race.
The Associated Press contributed to this story