Multiple deaths in ‘horrific’ bombing at Boston Marathon finish line
|04.15.13 at 8:52 pm ET|
At least three deaths and more than 100 injuries have been confirmed in the wake of Monday’s bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Just after 3 p.m. on a clear day, about three hours after the winners crossed the finish line to cheers in downtown Boston, there was a loud explosion on the north side of Boylston Street, just before the photo bridge that marks the finish line. Another explosion could be heard a few seconds later. According to several reports, the first blast was in the vicinity of Marathon Sports on Boylston Street on the sidewalk, and the second was farther up the street toward Mass. Ave.
The blasts brought horror to the middle of the city. On a day when Boston stops and celebrates the thousands of runners who take part in one of the most historic road races in the country, several onlookers and runners were treated for serious injuries. According to onlookers, bloodied spectators — some of them without limbs — were being carried to the medical tent that had been set up to care for runners in Copley Square. Police wove through competitors as they ran back toward the course to try to assist.
The Associated Press reported Monday night that eight hospitals were treating at least 124 people. Of those, at least 15 are in critical condition. NBC News reported late Monday that one of those killed was an 8-year-old.
Throughout the day, there were various reports about other explosive devices in the area. According to one report from the Wall Street Journal, five other devices were discovered in the wake of the first two blasts and detonated without incident. In addition, there were reports of an incident at the JFK Library in Dorchester, but Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis later indicated that it was a fire or “incendiary device,” and sounded hesitant to link that event to the others that took place downtown.
“We still do not know who did this or why, and people should not jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. But, make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this,” said President Barack Obama in a press conference held late in the afternoon. “Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice.
“Boston is a tough and resilient town,” Obama added. “So are its people. I’m supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other, and move forward as one proud city. And as they do, the American people will be with them every single step of the way.”
“This is a horrific day in Boston,” Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said.
“My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured. I have been in touch with the president, Mayor [Thomas] Menino and our public safety leaders. Our focus is on making sure that the area around Copley Square is safe and secured. I am asking everyone to stay away from Copley Square and let the first responders do their jobs.”
The Marathon, long one of the sporting treasures in the city, has been free of violent incidents of this nature over the years. The governing body of the race, the Boston Athletic Association, issued a statement via Facebook on Monday evening.
“The Boston Athletic Association extends its deepest sympathies to all those who were affected in any way by today’s events. ,” the statement read. “Today is a sad day for the City of Boston, for the running community, and for all those who were here to enjoy the 117th running of the Boston Marathon. What was intended to be a day of joy and celebration quickly became a day in which running a marathon was of little importance.
“We can confirm that all of the remaining runners who were out on the course when the tragic events unfolded have been returned to a community meeting area.
“At this time, runners’ bags in Boston which remain unclaimed may be picked up by runners presenting their bib number or proof of race participation at the Castle, at 101 Arlington Street, in Boston.
“At this time, we are cooperating with the City of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and all federal law enforcement officials.
“We would like to thank the countless people from around the world who have reached out to support us today.”
The Bruins postponed their Monday night game against the Senators. Meanwhile, the B’s rivals from Montreal held a moment of silence before their Monday night game at home. The Tuesday night game between the Celtics and Pacers was canceled. The Patriots were scheduled to hold their annual pre-draft press conference on Tuesday, but that postponed that until later in the week.
“After consultation with city, state and NHL officials we collectively made the decision to postpone tonight’s game,” read a statement from Bruins president Cam Neely. “Public safety personnel from the city and state are still gathering information regarding today’s events and it is vital they have all resources available for their investigation. The thoughts and prayers of everyone in the Bruins organization are with the city of Boston and all those affected by today’s tragedy.”
Read a statement from the Patriots: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and all who were injured by the bombings in Boston during today’s Boston Marathon.”
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