As unknowing runners sprinted along, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, as of now three people have been killed, and at least 113 were injured. The City of Boston’s most celebrated event turned into a horrid scene of carnage, as shattered glass, and blood covered the sidewalks and streets, and blood curdling screams could be heard everywhere.
President Barack Obama addressed the nation saying authorities did not yet know who carried out the attack but vowed to bring “the full weight of justice” down on them. Minutes later, law enforcement officials reported an 8-year-old child was sadly one of the dead.
Videos broadcast from the scene showed two blasts about 20 seconds apart just off to the side of the finish. White smoke billowed into the air, barriers blew over, and large crowds of people who only minutes earlier cheered runners as they crossed the finish line fled the scene in terror. Later, horrific reports of injuries began to roll in. Some reports were of blown-off limbs and bodies thrown violently to the pavement from the blasts.
“All the sudden there was a massive boom. There was a sort of concussive blow that pushed a lot of people back. I could see runners falling in front of me,” said Dave Abel, a reporter for The Boston Globe, who was about 10 feet from one of the explosions.
“When the smoke started to clear, I could see lots of bodies,” he said. “I could see one woman staring vacantly into the sky. I could see a lot of mangled limbs, a lot of blood and shattered glass. It was probably the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen.”
According to NBC.Com “Larissa Brinkley, who came from Pennsylvania to run the race, said people dropped everything and ran the opposite way. Other witnesses described what at first sounded like a cannon blast or fireworks.”
“Then it went off again. And then all of a sudden we heard people crying and running away,” said Serghino Rene, who was a few blocks away. “It was a huge horde of people just running away.”
The FBI is heading up a multiagency Joint Terrorism Task Force. Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis told reporters at a press conference that there is no suspect at Brigham and Women’s Hospital as previously reported and promises they will ‘turn every rock over to find the people who are responsible’ for the deadly blast at the Boston Marathon.
“It is a criminal investigation that is a potential terrorist investigation,” said FBI special agent in charge Richard DesLauriers.
Des Lauriers then announced the death toll had risen to three, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis vowed that authorities “will turn every rock over” to find out who is responsible.
“There is no suspect,” he said. “There are people we are talking to.”
Earlier, federal officials told NBC News that Boston police were guarding a “possible suspect” who had been wounded in the blasts, but they cautioned that there was no information at the federal level to consider that person a suspect.
A third, unexploded device was found near the finish line, a House Homeland Security Committee official and three law enforcement officials told NBC News. Authorities also reported an explosion at the John F. Kennedy presidential library previously believed to be a part of the attack, is now believed to be unrelated to the other blasts, and appeared to be caused by a fire. The police commissioner urged people to stay inside.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said the city of Boston will be open for business Tuesday but said, “It will not be business as usual.” He added, security would be tight and Bostonians should remain vigilant.
“We’re going to get through this,” Patrick said.
People on the scene report that injuries sustained at the marathon are reminiscent of those normally seen in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Editor’s Note: The explosions occurred at 2:50pm. At 8:30 pm, police said there were 134 injured. 24 hours later, Police now report 140 injured
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