Finish Line Tragedy
At least two major explosions rocked the finish line at the Boston Marathon Monday afternoon, leaving dozens of runners and spectators injured. Boston police report that three people have died and 100 more are injured as a result of the blasts.
Around 2:50 pm (EDT), a pair of explosions about 15 seconds apart blew out the sides of several buildings just blocks apart along the north side of Boylston Street. The bombs went off more than two hours after the winners crossed the finish line, when the marathon clock was approaching 4:10.
A bomb squad found a third explosive device and chose to detonate it around 3:50 pm local time. Boston.com warned the public of the "controlled explosion" on Twitter.
On its official Facebook page, Boston Marathon officials confirmed the blasts.
"We've had a horrific attack in Boston this afternoon," Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said. "We don't yet have the full picture."
"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," the post read.
In a press conference on Monday afternoon, Boston police commissioner Ed Davis confirmed that a third explosion had gone off near JFK Library. This was a separate incident from the controlled explosion.
"This is very much an ongoing event," Davis said. "We are not certain these events are related but we have no reason to believe that they aren't."
Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick said he is working with state police, the FBI and the national guard in the wake of the explosions. Officials did not label the incident an act of terrorism but did leave the door open.
"We've had a horrific attack in Boston this afternoon," Patrick said. "We don't yet have the full picture."
After the press conference, Boston Police Department called the JFK incident "fire related."
Although authorities have confirmed only three fatalities, the Boston Globe reports that more than 100 people are being treated in area hospitals for wounds suffered in the marathon explosions.
This year's Boston Marathon was dedicated to the victims of the Newtown Massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary. Runner's World reported that 26 seconds of silence were observed before the start of the race in honor of those slain. Seven runners from Newtown participated in the race. Reports on their status are scarce, though some outlets have said the Sandy Hook runners are all safe.
In an interview with the Associated Press, runner Frank Deruyter of North Carolina said he witnessed marathon workers carrying one woman with a serious gash in her leg.
"There are a lot of people down,” Deruyter said.
He also told the AP that a Boston police officer was wheeled away with a leg injury.
"There are people who are really, really bloody," Toronto runner Laura McLean said. "They were pulling them into the medical tent."
Gov. Rick Perry, himself an avid runner, offered his condolences to the victims in an official statement.
"The scene at the Boston Marathon today is a sobering vision for us all, especially those who have friends or loved ones competing in today's race," Perry said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with all those injured in the explosions, along with the first responders who braved danger to help get the wounded to safety."