Deadly Blasts Rock Boston Marathon
A terrorist bombing attack on the finish line area of the Boston Marathon killed 3 people and wounded at least 134 more on Monday afternoon.
The Boston Globe reports that two large explosions in rapid succession rocked the crowded area on Boylston Street near the finish line of the iconic race at around 2:50 p.m. The erstwhile festive atmosphere of the Patriot’s Day event was instantly transformed to sheer terror as the blasts sent shattered glass and severed human limbs flying through the smoky air.
“Somebody’s leg flew past my head,” spectator John Ross told the Boston Herald. “I gave my belt to stop the blood.”
As the smoke cleared, the scope of the tragedy became evident. Dozens of wounded runners and spectators were strewn about the blood-stained pavement, with people screaming, crying and moaning in pain. Among the dead was an 8-year-old boy. Many other children were wounded, some of them seriously. Children’s Hospital reported treating a 2-year-old, a 7-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl.
“There was blood everywhere; there were victims being carried out on stretchers,” Boston Globe sports producer Steve Silva told his paper just moments after the blasts. “I saw someone lose their leg. People are crying. People are confused.”
“They just started bringing people in with no limbs,” runner Tim Davey of Richmond, Virginia told the Associated Press. Davey said he and his wife tried to prevent their children from looking at the horrific scene inside a medical tent originally set up to aid dehydrated and fatigued runners, but “they saw a lot.”
Alisdair Conn, chief of emergency services at Massachusetts General Hospital, told the AP that “this is something I’ve never seen in my 25 years here… this amount of carnage in the civilian population. This is what we expect from war.”
CNN reports that at least 17 of the wounded being treated at local hospitals are in critical condition. Another 25 are listed in serious condition. At least 10 people have had limbs amputated.
Addressing the nation after the attack, President Barack Obama vowed to find whoever is responsible and bring them to justice.
“The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight,” the president said from the White House shortly after 6 p.m. “We will find out who did this and we will hold them accountable.”
“We still do not know who did this or why,” Obama added. “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… Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice.”
The president noted that the attack occurred on Patriot’s Day, one of the biggest holidays in Boston, which marks the start of the American Revolution.
“The situation remains fluid and it remains too early to establish the cause and motivation,” the Boston FBI office said in a statement.
“We’re questioning many people, but there is no one in custody at this point,” Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis told reporters.
According to the Globe, a “person of interest” was being questioned at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. That individual was injured in one of the explosions. Reports of a young Saudi Arabian man being held under guard as a suspect at an undisclosed local hospital, first published by the New York Post, have been refuted by authorities.
“There is no suspect, as has been widely reported,” Commissioner Davis said on Monday evening.
There had been reports of a third explosion at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum and Library, but Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick later stated that the incident could have been “an incendiary device or a fire” and was possibly unrelated to the attack.
Some 23,000 people from all over the world had entered the race, which is one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious marathons.
Other cities across the nation, including New York, Washington, DC and San Francisco, were on high alert in the wake of the deadly Boston bombings.
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