Explosions at Boston Marathon finish line

April 15, 2013

See the latest developments here.

Two explosions disrupted the Boston Marathon on Monday, causing at least two deaths and dozens of injuries and scattering crowds near the finish line, authorities said.

Read the full story here and follow along with the developments on Monday as the news broke.

What we know

  • Two bombs exploded at the venerable Boston Marathon on Monday.
  • Three people were killed.
  • About 100 others were injured.
  • The blasts were caused by explosive devices.
  • An eight year old was killed.
  • A White House official called the explosions an “act of terror.”
  • An incident at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston turned out to be an unrelated fire.

We are closing down this live blog for the evening. Continue to check The Post’s homepage for updates throughout the night. The live blog will resume at 7 a.m.

Celtics cancel Tuesday game

The Boston Globe reports:

The NBA announced Monday night that in light of the tragic events at the Boston Marathon, that Tuesday’s scheduled game between the Celtics and Indiana Pacers at TD Garden has been canceled.

Since the season concludes Wednesday with both teams in action, there will be no makeup date and both teams will finish with 81 games played. The game was scheduled for 8 p.m. and was to be televised nationally by Turner Network Television. It is uncertain when the Celtics will travel to Toronto for Wednesday’s season finale.

WSJ: Five undetonated explosive devices found

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Counterterrorism officials found what they believe to be five additional, undetonated explosive devices around the Boston area, according to two people briefed on the rapidly moving investigation.

The devices—which are in addition to the two that exploded near the finish line of the marathon—were discovered over the course of a frantic inspection of suspicious packages, many of them abandoned as pedestrians, runners, and others scrambled away from crowded public streets. Each had been rendered inoperative or was in the process of being rendered inoperative, the officials said.

But the officials also sounded a note of caution, saying they are moving quickly and each device they believe is a bomb hasn’t been fully dissected or analyzed.

Boston police: Three dead

Three people have died following two explosions at the Boston Marathon, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said at a press conference Monday night. He added that the total number of injured will not be known until at least tomorrow. Davis said that “there is no suspect” in the case thus far, although “there are people we are talking to.”

“This cowardly act will not be taken in stride,” Davis said.

A few other details emerged from the press conference: The FBI is taking the lead on the investigation. Gov. Deval L. Patrick said that the city will be open for business on Tuesday, although there will be increased law enforcement presence and random security checks.

Boston Athletic Association releases statement

The Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the marathon, posted this statement on its Facebook page this evening:

The Boston Athletic Association extends its deepest sympathies to all those who were affected in any way by todays events.

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 association also posted this update:

Correction on baggage claim: Runner’s bags can now be picked up on Berkeley Street, between St. James and Boylston. There are no bags at 101 Arlington Street.

AP: More than 130 injured

The Associated Press is now reporting that at least 134 people were injured, at least 15 of them critically, by the two explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Two people were killed in the blasts, including an 8-year-old, according to an official.

Children’s hospital treats nine children, ages 2 to 14

My colleague David Montgomery reports that Boston Children’s Hospital received 10 patients whose conditions ranged from good to serious, according to hospital spokeswoman Meghan Weber. Nine of the 10 patients are children, ranging in age from 2 to 14. The hospital also treated a 42-year-old parent of one of the children.

The most seriously injured patients include a 14-year-old boy with head trauma, a 9-year-old girl with leg trauma, a 2-year-old boy with a head injury and a 12-year-old with a femur fracture, according to Weber. Those with less severe injuries were treated in the emergency department. Most of them arrived at the hospital with leg injuries.

Boston Globe photographer describes explosions, chaos


Police officers with their guns drawn hear the second explosion down the street. The first explosion knocked down a runner at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. (JohnTlumacki/The Boston Globe)

Longtime Boston Globe photographer John Tlumacki was taking photos near the finish line when he was shaken by an explosion. In an interview with Time’s LightBox, Tlumacki described what he saw, heard and felt: “The percussion from that explosion threw my cameras up in the air. Right in front of me, one of the runners fell on the ground — he was blown over from the blast. My instinct was…no matter what it is, you’re a photographer first, that’s what you’re doing. I ran towards the explosion, towards the police; they had their guns drawn. It was pandemonium. Nobody knew what was going on.”

You can read the full interview here: “Tragedy in Boston: One Photographer’s Eyewitness Account.”

Boston University student “critically injured”

Boston University President Robert A. Brown wrote in an email to the campus community that a student was “critically injured,” according to the Boston Globe. Brown wrote that school officials cannot yet identify the student. He also encouraged students to stay inside their residence halls and apartments.

“Boston University police have stayed on duty to protect our campus and support Boston and state police,” Brown wrote. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who have experienced a dreadful loss and those whose loved ones are terribly injured.”

Red Cross says it doesn’t need donations

In a situation like this, a natural immediate reaction is to readily donate blood. But that doesn’t seem to be necessary, according to the Red Cross chapter covering the Boston area.

The American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts tweeted the following early Monday evening:

Boston Globe reports higher injury count

The Boston Globe just reported that there are now more than 120 people being treated for injuries at seven hospitals in the Boston area.

Boston police receive “high volume of tips”

The Boston police have asked for any information about the explosions this afternoon, along with raw video from the finish line. So far, they have received a “high volume of tips.”

AP: 105 injured, 15 critically

The precise number of people injured remains unclear, but most reports seem to have the injured number somewhere between 80 and more than 100.

The latest number, according to the Associated Press: Hospitals in Boston reported at least 105 people injured, with 15 of them critically injured.

There has been no change so far to the earlier confirmation that two people were killed by the explosions. One of those victims is an eight-year-old boy, NBC News reported.

Jim Lokay of WCVB in Boston reported the following:

Boehner: ‘Prayers to the victims’

House Speaker John Boehner has released a statement on the “events in Boston”:

“Words cannot begin to express our sorrow for the families who are grieving so suddenly right now. The House of Representatives offers its prayers to the victims and the city of Boston. We also give thanks for the professionals and Good Samaritans who prevented further loss of life. This is a terrible day for all Americans, but we will carry on in the American spirit, and come together with grace and strength.”

White House: “An act of terror”

While President Obama didn’t refer to the Boston bombing as an act of terrorism, the White House is treating the explosions as “an act of terror,” Reuters reported.

“Any event with multiple explosive devices – as this appears to be – is clearly an act of terror, and will be approached as an act of terror,” an anonymous official told Reuters.

Jordan extremist praises Boston attack

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — The head of an extremist Jordanian Muslim Salafi group said early Tuesday that he was “happy to see the horror in America” after the explosions in Boston.

“American blood isn’t more precious than Muslim blood,” said Mohammad al-Chalabi, who was convicted in an al-Qaida-linked plot to attack U.S. and other Western diplomatic missions in Jordan in 2003.

“Let the Americans feel the pain we endured by their armies occupying Iraq and Afghanistan and killing our people there,” he said early Tuesday. Al-Chalabi served seven years in prison for his part in the foiled attack. His group is outlawed in Jordan.

A Mideast counterterrorism official based in Jordan said the blasts “carry the hallmark of an organized terrorist group, like al-Qaida.” He did not give actual evidence linking al-Qaida to the bombing.

“From the little information available, one can say it was a well-coordinated, well-targeted and near-simultaneous attack,” he said. “Luckily, the amount of explosives used is small, judging from the casualty figure and explosion area.”

Full text of Obama’s remarks and video

Here’s the video of President Obama speaking from the White House shortly after 6 p.m. on Monday:

The White House also released the following text of his remarks:

Good afternoon, everybody.  Earlier today, I was briefed by my homeland security team on the events in Boston. We’re continuing to monitor and respond to the situation as it unfolds.  And I’ve directed the full resources of the federal government to help state and local authorities protect our people, increase security around the United States as necessary, and investigate what happened.

The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight.  And Michelle and I send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims in the wake of this senseless loss.

We don’t yet have all the answers.  But we do know that multiple people have been wounded, some gravely, in explosions at the Boston Marathon.

I’ve spoken to FBI Director Mueller and Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano, and they’re mobilizing the appropriate resources to investigate and to respond.

I’ve updated leaders of Congress in both parties, and we reaffirmed that on days like this there are no Republicans or Democrats — we are Americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens.

I’ve also spoken with Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino, and made it clear that they have every single federal resource necessary to care for the victims and counsel the families.  And above all, I made clear to them that all Americans stand with the people of Boston.

Boston police, firefighters, and first responders as well as the National Guard responded heroically, and continue to do so as we speak.  It’s a reminder that so many Americans serve and sacrifice on our behalf every single day, without regard to their own safety, in dangerous and difficult circumstances.  And we salute all those who assisted in responding so quickly and professionally to this tragedy.

We still do not know who did this or why.  And people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts.  But make no mistake — we will get to the bottom of this.  And we will find out who did this; we’ll find out why they did this.  Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.

Today is a holiday in Massachusetts — Patriots’ Day.  It’s a day that celebrates the free and fiercely independent spirit that this great American city of Boston has reflected from the  earliest days of our nation.  And it’s a day that draws the world to Boston’s streets in a spirit of friendly competition.  Boston is a tough and resilient town.  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.

You should anticipate that as we get more information, our teams will provide you briefings.  We’re still in the investigation stage at this point.  But I just want to reiterate we will find out who did this and we will hold them accountable.

Thank you very much.

Gray: No specific threats against D.C.

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) said city officials were not aware of any specific threats against the District, but said preliminary readiness plans have been put into place.

He encouraged residents and visitors to take part in Tuesday’s Emancipation Day festivities, a celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s signing of a bill freeing the District’s slaves. A morning parade down Pennsylvania Avenue NW, followed by a gospel concert and fireworks show, will continue as scheduled, he said: “We hope people will continue to come down and continue to engage in this important celebration.”

D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said visitors will see a “visible increase” in police presence. “We have a lot of assets and a lot of resources here, and everything that needs to be in place is in place,” she said.

At 6 p.m., the area immediately north of the White House – including the Pennsylvania Avenue promenade and parts of Lafayette Park — was closed to pedestrians with yellow police tape.

– Mike DeBonis

No changes for D.C. Emancipation Day parade

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier are hosting a press conference right now. In addition to detailing increased security in the city, Gray said that Tuesday’s Emancipation Day parade will continue as planned. The parade is set to start at 11 a.m. and will run along Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 3rd and 13 ½ streets.

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier are hosting a press conference right now. In addition to detailing increased security in the city, Gray said that Tuesday’s Emancipation Day parade will continue as planned. The parade is set to start at 11 a.m. and will run along Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 3rd and 13 ½ streets.

My colleague Mike DeBonis is there and reports:

Gray said city officials were not aware of any specific threats against the District, but said preliminary readiness plans have been put into place.

He encouraged residents and visitors to take part in Tuesday’s Emancipation Day festivities, a celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s 1862 signing of a bill freeing the District’s slaves. A morning parade down Pennsylvania Avenue NW, followed by a gospel concert and fireworks show, will continue as scheduled, he said: “We hope people will continue to come down and continue to engage in this important celebration.”

Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said visitors will see a “visible increase” in police presence. “We have a lot of assets and a lot of resources here, and everything that needs to be in place is in place,” she said.

At 6 p.m., the area immediately north of the White House –- including the Pennsylvania Avenue promenade and parts of Lafayette Park — was closed to pedestrians with yellow police tape.

JFK Library staff safe, fire out


The blackened outside of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. (Brian Snyder)

A John F. Kennedy Presidential Library official released this statement: “The fire at the JFK Library building is out. It appears to have started in the mechanical room of new wing of the building. All staff and visitors are accounted for and safe. Fire investigators are investigating. We have no specific information on damage to the mechanical room. Any tie to Boston Marathon explosions is pure speculation.”

NBC News: Eight-year-old killed in bombing

NBC News just reported that an eight-year-old was killed in today’s bombing.

Marathon bombing dominates U.K. front pages

The Boston Marathon bombing quickly became international news. One easy way to see this is in this photo displaying what will be on the front pages of Britain’s newspapers on Tuesday:


The photo is courtesy of Nick Sutton, who tweeted it a little more than three hours after the explosions occurred.

Flags at Capitol being lowered to half-staff

The account for Speaker John Boehner just tweeted that flags over the United States Capitol are being lowered to half-staff out of respect for the victims of the marathon explosions.

Obama: ‘We don’t yet have all the answers’

President Obama spoke from the White House shortly after 6 p.m., saying that he and the first lady sent their “deepest thoughts and prayers” to the victims.

“We don’t yet have all the answers,” he said. “We do know multiple people have been wounded, some gravely, in explosions at the Boston Marathon.”

Obama said he has reached out to the leaders of both parties, saying all are “united in concern for our fellow citizens.”

He praised the first responders and others who responded to the explosions.

“We still do not know who did this or why,” he said. But he added, “Make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this.”

Obama also went on to say: “We will find out who did this, and we will hold them accountable.”

The American people will pray for Boston tonight, Obama said.

“I’m supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other and move forward,” he said.

Boston athletes react with disbelief

Boston athletes, like people everywhere, reacted with shock and disbelief at the Boston Marathon bombings.


There’s more reaction here

.

President Obama addresses the nation

President Obama is speaking now.

We’ll have updates shortly, but he’s cautioning people not to jump to conclusions. He vows to get to the bottom of this and reminds us that today is Patriots Day in Massachusetts.

Condemnation and dread in Muslim world

So little is known about what’s behind the explosions at the Boston Marathon that any conclusion would be premature. But a fear of possible terrorism has been an early reflex not just in the United States but half a world away in the Middle East. There, horrified observers are expressing sympathy – recall that pro-American solidarity rallies were held throughout the region after Sept. 11, 2001 – and, at times, a sense of dread.

As a Libyan Twitter user named Hend Amry wrote, “Please don’t be a ‘Muslim.’” Her message was retweeted by more than 100 other users, including well-known journalists and writers from the Muslim world.

Read the full post.

Feinstein: Attack constitutes a terrorist attack

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she believes the attacks Monday afternoon in Boston constitute a terrorist attack.

“I think it was an attack, we don’t know whether it was homegrown…or a foreign perpetrator,” she told reporters.

Feinstein said she based her assessment on early news reports and comments made by local government officials.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said her staff has been told by the National Counterterrorism Center that there was no specific warning of the Boston attacks.

Based on her own early assessment of the incident, “I believe this attack bears all the hallmarks of a terrorist attack,” Collins said.

Collins is well-versed on intelligence and counterterrorism matters as a member of the Senate intelligence Committee and the former ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

She said she hadn’t been briefed on specifics and said at least some senators expect to receive an intelligence briefing later tonight from senior federal officials.

The recent history of marathoners and finish times


(Courtesy of Reuters)

Reuters posted this infographic on the explosions shortly before 6 p.m. It provides some context in displaying where the blast occurred and how many runners would have typically still been running at that point.

Verizon and Sprint: No shutdown

The Associated Press is now changing its earlier report that cellphone service was shut down after the explosions.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Cellphone companies say service is operating in the Boston area, but with heavy traffic following of the explosions at the Boston Marathon.

A law enforcement official, citing an intelligence briefing, said cellphone service had been shut down Monday in the Boston area to prevent any potential remote detonations of explosives.

But officials with Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel said there had been no such requests.

Sprint spokeswoman Crystal Davis said: “Minus some mild call blocking on our Boston network due to increased traffic, our service is operating normally.”

Two people were killed and scores injured when two explosives detonated near the finish line of the marathon.

For runners in need of Boston housing


(Scott Eisen / Reuters)

Are you a Boston marathoner with no place to stay tonight?

That’s a real possibility for thousands of runners. The Boston Globe has created a Google document with information about local housing.

 

Boston police chief: ‘No suspect in custody’

Ed Davis, the Boston police commissioner, responded to reports that a suspect has been identified or arrested during a press conference just now.

“Those reports are not true,” Davis said. “There is no suspect in custody.”

Police: Crime scene area to remain closed

This is unsurprising news, but the Boston Police are reporting that the area around the scene of the explosions “will be closed for the foreseeable future.”

CNN calling explosions ‘terror attack’

CNN is now calling the explosions a terror attack:

Image of blast site from above


Still image taken from video courtesy of NBC. Looking across Boylston Street, the finish line can be seen on the right. REUTERS/NBC/Handout

Naval Academy marathon team reports it’s fine

The Naval Academy’s marathon team and a number of other runners from the academy are accounted and are fine, the school said on its Facebook page.

 

President Obama to speak at 6:10 p.m.

The White House has confirmed to multiple reporters that President Obama will address the nation at 6:10 p.m. We will have live updates from his address.

JFK Library reports all staff, visitors safe

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, the site of the third explosion in Boston on Monday, tweeted a short while ago that all of its “staff and visitors are safe and accounted for.”

Justice Department investigating explosions

Attorney General Eric Holder has directed the Justice Department to deploy its “full resources” to investigating the bombing at the marathon, the Associated Press reports. He has spoken with Robert Mueller, the FBI director, and Carmen Ortiz, the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts.

Ortiz’s office is coordinating the department’s response with the FBI as well as with federal, state and local law enforcement authorities, according to the AP.

Bloomberg: Six patients critical at Mass. General Hospital

There are 22 patients at Massachusetts General Hospital and six of them are in critical condition, Bloomberg News just reported.

More than 17,000 people crossed the finish line

Runner’s World reported that of the 23,326 runners who started the Boston Marathon, 17,584 of them crossed the finish line.

The last recorded finish came at 2:57 p.m., just before the explosions rang out in Boston.

Boston Police: No arrests made

The Boston Police Department told Talking Points Memo that no arrests have been made and nobody has been apprehended yet.

This is particularly noteworthy following a New York Post report saying that “a Saudi Arabian national” has been identified as a suspect. No other outlets have independently confirmed this news, nor have police or any other officials confirmed this.

“Honestly, I don’t know where they’re getting their information from, but it didn’t come from us,” a police spokesperson told TPM.

Boston police ask for videos

Boston police are requesting that anyone with video of the explosions please contact them.

Their tip line is 1-800-494-TIPS.

Thousands of runners may need housing (updated)


(Alex Trautwig / Getty Images)

The Boston Marathon draws a field of 27,000 runners — thousands of whom come into the city from around the world and now, suddenly, may find themselves without hotel rooms.

Boston.com has a Google doc for those in need a place to stay or who have a place to house runners who can’t get back to their hotels or fly out of Logan.We’ll supply the link as soon as the Globe has it.

 

Tip lines for loved ones and information

 

Photo of President Obama being briefed

 

The official White House Flickr account just posted this photo of President Obama on the phone with Robert Mueller, director of the FBI:

Obama is flanked by Lisa Monaco, assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, on his left and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough on his right.

[via]

 

Report: More than 100 being treated at hospitals


Medical personnel work outside the medical tent in the aftermath of the two blasts. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

The Boston Globe just reported that Boston hospitals are treating more than 100 people after the marathon explosions:

Cellphone service suspended in Boston, AP reports

Cellphone service in downtown Boston has been shut down to prevent detonation of any other explosives that may remain around the city, the Associated Press reports.

Two people are dead and CNN reports that the number of injured has risen to 49.

Map of explosions

Gov. Cuomo statement on explosions

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement on the explosions a short while ago:

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Boston and Massachusetts as reports come in on the horrific tragedy at the Boston Marathon. I have directed state agencies, including the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, State Police, the MTA and the Port Authority, to be on a heightened state of alert as we learn more about this incident. New York National Guard on Sunday sent three vehicles and 6 soldiers to support the Marathon, and they are on hand to assist with emergency response and work together with local authorities following this incident.

Mayor Bloomberg: New York has “stepped up security”

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg posted this statement on the Boston explosions:

As law enforcement authorities investigate today’s explosions in Boston, I ask all New Yorkers to keep the victims and their families in your thoughts and prayers. I have spoken with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, and the NYPD has stepped up security at strategic locations and critical infrastructure, including our subways. Some of the security steps we are taking may be noticeable, including deployment of Critical Response Vehicles and additional police personnel, and others will not be. We have 1,000 members of the NYPD assigned to counter-terrorism duties, and they – along with the entire NYPD and the investments we have made in counter-terrorism infrastructure – are being fully mobilized to protect our city.

Google establishes Person Finder

Google has established a Person Finder related to the Boston Marathon. If you head here, you can either report that you are looking for someone or that you have information about someone’s status.

[via Digg]

Flight restrictions over Copley Square

Laura Brown, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said at the request of officials in Boston, the agency has put a temporary flight restrictions over Copley Square, near where two explosions occurred near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Brown said the flight restrictions are not affecting commercials flights in the area and will remain in place until further notice. She said such restrictions on air traffic are common to allow local authorities to conduct their work. Similar flight restrictions were put into place over New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

Boston police investigating three incidents [updated]

The explosion at the JFK Library may have been related to the earlier explosions at the Boston Marathon, but that is uncertain right now, the police commissioner said during a brief press conference shortly before 5 p.m.

“We have at this point in time determined that there has been a third incident that has occurred,” Ed Davis said during the press conference.

This explosion at the JFK Library may or may not have been related, but police are investigating it as though it is, he said. But he later added that they believe it was related.

The police also tweeted this at the same time:

Davis said the police did not have an official confirmation of the number of casualties.

In addition, police will also have staff answering two phone numbers:

Families of potential victims should call 617-635-4500. Anyone with any tip or relevant information should call 1-800-494-TIPS.

“We are looking for any information people have about what they saw,” he said. “At the site of the explosion or coming and going.”

JFK Library believed to be scene of explosion

A third explosion “that we believe is related” occurred at the John F. Kennedy Library, Boston police commissioner Ed Davis said at a press conference.

That explosion occurred at about 4:30, after the others at the marathon finish line. Library officials had originally said it was an electrical fire.

Marathon Facebook page refers to “bombs”

Boston Marathon officials, on the race’s Facebook page, says:

“There were two bombs that exploded near the finish line in today’s Boston Marathon. We are working with law enforcement to understand what exactly has happened.”

It appeared that runners were headed east on Boylston Street toward the finish line, near the intersection of Boylston and Exeter streets. From video footage of the explosion, it appeared that one of the explosions was centered on the north side of Boylston Street, across from Boston Public Library, where temporary stands had been erected for spectators.

Bruins-Senators game tonight postponed

The hockey game tonight between the Boston Bruins and the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden has been postponed.

The Red Sox played at 11 a.m. today at Fenway Park, part of the annual Patriots Day observance.

“After consultation with City, State and NHL officials we collectively made the decision to postpone tonight’s game,” Bruins President Cam Neeley said in a statement. “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.”

Raw video from Boston Globe

The Boston Globe has published a video showing the explosions as they happened and the moments immediately after the detonations.

Statement from Deval Patrick

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) has issued a statement:

This is a horrific day in Boston. My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured. I have been in touch with the President, Mayor 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.

[Statement via WBUR]

Report: Suspect identified by police

The New York Post is reporting that a suspect in the bombing has been identified by authorities and is being guarded in a Boston hospital.

We have to stress that this is report has not been confirmed independently by the Washington Post or, at this moment, any other news outlets. So keep that in mind.

Suspicious package reported at Harvard station

Another suspicious package has been reported near the Harvard station on the MBTA, the Boston area’s public transit system, according to the Boston Globe.

Remember that in the early hours after incidents like this, there will be many unconfirmed reports and a lot of confusion.

Reuters: ‘One or more bombs’ caused explosions

Reuters is reporting that one or more bombs were responsible for the explosions at the Boston Marathon. Earlier, NBC News had reported that the preliminary cause was “a small homemade bomb.”

Photos from the scene


A Boston police officer wheels in injured boy down Boylston Street as medical workers carry an injured runner following an explosion. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Runner John Ounao crying when he finds friends after several explosions rocked the finish of the Boston Marathon. JOHN MOTTERN/AFP/Getty Images

UPDATE: Explosion at JFK Library

UPDATE, 5:07 p.m.: A third explosion “that we believe is related” occurred at the John F. Kennedy Library, Boston police commissioner Ed Davis said at a press conference. Earlier, the library tweeted that the event was an unrelated fire. Read more here.

4:32 p.m.: The fire at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston is unrelated to the explosions at the marathon, according to library officials.

However, there were contradictory reports emerging. Boston police report that there are devices at alternate spots, including near the Harvard MBTA station and on the glass footbridge over Huntington Avenue near Copley Place.

Press conference is imminent

We’re expecting an update at any moment from Boston officials and we’ll provide updates when it begins.

PHOTO: Right after the explosion

The Boston Globe’s Sports Twitter account has published a photo taken immediately after one of the explosions.

 

President Obama briefed by Homeland Security

A White House Official reports:

“Shortly after being notified of the incident around 3pm EDT, the President received a briefing from Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco and other members of his senior White House staff in the Oval Office.  The President called Boston Mayor Tom Menino and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to express his concern for those who were injured and to make clear that his administration is ready to provide needed support as they respond to the incident.”

AP: Two additional explosive devices found

The Associated Press is reporting that two additional explosive devices were found at the Boston Marathon and are being dismantled now.

Pennsylvania Avenue blocked off in front of White House

There are multiple reports that the Secret Service is closing off Pennsylvania Avenue NW in front of the White House.

[This post has been updated]

NBC: Preliminary cause is homemade bomb

The preliminary cause of the explosions is a small homemade bomb, NBC News reports, citing law enforcement officials.

In addition to Washington and New York, San Francisco is also on heightened alert.

Obama, Biden monitor situation in Boston

The President has been notified of the incident in Boston. His administration is in contact with state and local authorities. He directed his administration to provide whatever assistance is necessary in the investigation and response.

Vice President Biden, on a conference call to provide an update to supporters about gun-control legislation, said Monday afternoon that “our prayers are with those people in Boston who have suffered an injury.”

Noting that he had just turned on the television in his office and was seeing reports on the Boston explosion, Biden said, “Apparently there has been a bombing.”

“I don’t know any of the details – what caused it, who did it – but our prayers are with those people in Boston who have suffered an injury,” Biden said.

Boston Marathon athlete tracker still active

For those looking to locate a marathon runner, the Boston Marathon’s athlete tracker is still live at this link.

Boston Marathon course map

The marathon’s official web site is down in the wake of the explosions. If you’re trying to see a course map, here’s one from Boston.com. Click through for details.

D.C. and U.S. Capitol police increase security

D.C. police have heightened security but did not say whether this stemmed from any specific threat.

“We have heightened our security,” said police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump. She declined to provide any additional details.

The U.S. Capitol Police also increased its security presence at the U.S. Capitol.

Terrance Gainer, the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, said in an e-mail to Post reporter Ed O’Keefe that “there is no present indication of threats” to the Capitol, but that security will be increased “as a precaution.”

Gainer would not comment on any plans for enhanced security. Security is often increased at the Capitol and White House as a precaution following major incidents in the U.S. and around the world.

New York police stepping up security

Reuters is reporting that the New York Police Department is stepping up security around Manhattan landmarks. The department is going to send counter-terrorism vehicles around the city, according to Paul Browne, deputy commissioner of the NYPD.

First responders tend to injured man

Medical responders run an injured man past the finish line the 2013 Boston Marathon following the explosion in Boston.


(Charles Krupa/AP)

Boston Police: 23 injured, two dead

The Boston Police Department tweeted that as of 4:02 p.m., there were 22 injured and two people dead. Three minutes later, they added one more injured to the list.

The scene near the finish line

Steve Silva, a sports producer for Boston.com, wrote this account of being near the finish line when the explosions occur. Before reading, be warned that this account is very graphic:

“It was just immediately [evident] there were injuries, right in the middle of the spectator crowds. There was blood everywhere, there were victims being carried out on stretchers. I saw someone lose their leg, people are crying, people are confused.”

“It was just an explosion, it came out of nowhere. There are multiple injuries. I saw dismemberment, I saw blood everywhere. People are badly injured.”

[Silva's account via Boston.com]

Boston Globe: Police to set controlled explosion

 

Paramedic: It sounded like a cannon

Greg Friese, a paramedic from Wisconsin, had completed the race and was several blocks from the finish line when he heard “one loud bang and then a second loud bang.”

“It was just a loud short boom, and then the second one sounded identical,’’ Friese, 41, said in a telephone interview. “A couple people around me said ‘oh, it looks like they’re blasting off a cannon.’” Friese said he kept walking and soon noticed that police cars and fire trucks were driving back toward the finish line.

“We weren’t able to see anything beyond that,” he said.

Explosion around 300 yards from finish line

Washington Post editor Vernon Loeb ran the Boston Marathon earlier today. He writes that police established a crime scene around the Prudential Center. One explosion apparently went off on Boylston Street, about 300 yards from the finish line.


View Larger Map

Police urge crowd to go home

This is still a very dangerous, unstable scene at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, with those in the area being urged to leave immediately. The Boston Globe reports the police are still finding “secondary devices,” and are pleading with the crowd to leave the area.

From the scene, there are gruesome accounts of people with hair on fire, severed limbs in front of the Charlesmark Hotel, the Globe’s Billy Baker reports.

More images of the blast and its aftermath

 

 

 

Video of explosion

A Vine user uploaded footage of an explosion from Boston NBC affiliate Channel 7.

Runners still on the course are being diverted


(Charles Krupa / AP)

A number of the 27,000 runners who entered the marathon are still on the course, hours after the top runners finished.

They’re being directed to shelters and pointed away from the Boylston Street area, where the finish line is. The marathon has, obviously, been canceled.

 

The moment of one explosion

(Dan Lampariello)
(Dan Lampariello)

At the finish line, an explosion

 

Boston Marathon Finish Line

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Cindy Boren · April 15, 2013