NORTON META TAG

15 April 2013

(LIVE NPR BLOG) Two Explosions Rock Boston Marathon Finish Line (VIDEO); At Least 2 Dead, Dozens Injured & Explosions kill at least 2 at Boston Marathon; dozens injured 15APR13

REPORTS from the Washington Post and NPR of the bombing at the Boston Marathon. Click the link to refresh the NPR live blog....

Two Explosions Rock Boston Marathon Finish Line; At Least 2 Dead, Dozens Injured



— VICTIMS: As of 6 p.m., two people were reported dead and, according to an NPR count of patients at area hospitals, 68 were injured.
— INVESTIGATION: NPR's Dina Temple Raston reports that the FBI has sent counter terrorism officials to the scene.
During a news conference, Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis was asked if this was terrorism. "We're not being definitive," he said. "You can reach your own conclusions."
— CHAOS: Video of the scene showed a big explosion near the finish line. The explosion was so strong, it threw one runner off his feet. A video feed of the marathon finish line showed empty stands and emergency workers on the scene.
WGBH's Anne Mostue tells our Newscast unit she heard two very loud explosions within seconds of each other. Mostue said immediately after, she saw "people screaming and running toward the river."
"Police [were] pushing everyone away from Copley square," WBUR's Bruce Gellerman said. "People crying, people sitting collecting their thoughts. Some of the runners still shaking."
— SECURITY: Police in Los Angeles, New York City, Washington, London and other cities worldwide stepped up security after the explosions. Public transit seemed to be large focus of their efforts, as well as large public gatherings.
Update at 6:13 p.m. ET. Obama: We Will Find Out Who Did This:
During a short statement to the country, Obama promised to find out who did this and hold them accountable.
"Make no mistake we will get to the bottom of this," Obama said. "We will find out who did this and why... Any responsible individual, any responsible group will feel the full weight of justice."
Obama also offered Boston the full support of the American government.
"All Americans stand with the people of Boston," he said.
A Boston police officer clears Boylston Street following the explosions.
Charles Krupa/AP
Two explosions rocked the finish line of the Boston Marathon this afternoon, leaving at least two dead and dozens injured, the Boston Police Department reports.
The explosions happened in quick succession four hours after the beginning of the men's race. At that point, the majority of runners had crossed the finish line. Thousands, however, were still out on the course.
During a news conference, Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis was asked if this was terrorism.
"We're not being definitive," he said. "You can reach your own conclusions."
Video of the scene showed a big explosion near the finish line. The explosion was so strong, it threw one runner off his feet.
WGBH's Anne Mostue tells our Newscast unit she heard two very loud explosions within seconds of each other. Mostue said immediately after, she saw "people screaming and running toward the river."
"Police [were] pushing everyone away from Copley Square," WBUR's Bruce Gellerman said. "People crying, people sitting collecting their thoughts. Some of the runners still shaking."
A video feed of the marathon finish line showed empty stands and emergency workers on the scene. Images posted on Twitter and taken by wire photographers showed bloodied runners and spectators lining the streets, the windows of nearby buildings blown out by the explosion.
The cause of the explosion has not been determined. But the AP reports that security has been beefed up in New York and Washington, D.C.
Keep in mind, the situation is still fluid. Some of the initial details may be wrong. We'll do our best to point out the most credible sources and we'll update this blog with the latest.
Update at 6:03 p.m. ET. No Suspect Arrested:
Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said they had "no specific intelligence" that would have warned them of the attack.
Davis said there had also been no arrests made, but that police were talking to a great number of people.
Update at 6:01 p.m. ET. President Will Speak:
President Obama will address the nation at 6:10 p.m. ET. The White House will stream the statement live on its website.
Update at 5:49 p.m. ET. A Long Haul:
NPR's Dina Temple-Raston tells All Things Considered that it will take quite a while for police to comb through the area. This is especially true because thousands of runners dropped bags as they ran away from the scene.
The Boston Police Department tweeted that the area "around the crime scene will be closed for the foreseeable future."
Update at 5:40 p.m. ET. At Least 60 Injured:
According to an NPR count of patients at area hospitals, at least 60 people were injured. NPR reports:
— "Brigham and Womens' Hospital has received 18 to 20 patients, with 2 in critical condition."
YouTube
— "Boston Medical Center has received 20 patients, including 2 children, all from the Marathon bombs. Most of these patients have lower-leg injuries, according to a hospital spokesperson. They don't have anything yet about condition of injured."

Explosions kill at least 2 at Boston Marathon; dozens injured

By Vernon Loeb, Doug Struck and and Updated: Monday, April 15, 4:55 PM


BOSTON — Two bombs exploded at the venerable Boston Marathon on Monday, killing two people, sending hundreds of runners scrambling for cover and rattling nerves around the nation, authorities said.
The blasts occurred in rapid succession as thousands of people were still running. Video footage showed an explosion off to the side as runners were nearing the finish line, with some toppling over from the concussion. Smoke rose into the air, and photos of the scene showed a sidewalk slicked with blood.
The explosions, occurring on Patriot’s Day holiday that commemorates the Revolutionary War battles of Lexington and Concord, were as shocking in their symbolism as in their force. The Boston Marathon is a highly prestigious race and is as much a symbol of Boston as Fenway Park or the Boston Garden.
The repercussions extended from Massachusetts to Washington, where President Obama was briefed by top officials, the White House increased security, and the Justice Department and FBI mobilized to fully investigate what had happened.
Boston Marathon officials described the blasts near the finish line as originating from “two bombs.” Two federal law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the blasts were caused by explosive devices.
In addition to the two confirmed deaths, police said more than 20 people were injured. Other media reports placed the injury toll as more than 100 people.
Initial reports of another explosion at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston turned out to be an unrelated fire. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick urged people to “stay out of crowds” as they made their way home.
A CNN producer who was at the race said the first large explosion was followed about 10 seconds later by another blast. He said he saw at least five or six people who appeared to be injured.
Emergency personnel rushed to the area, and the street was quickly sealed off.
“I saw it go off and smoke billowed up. Everyone just stopped and hunched down,” said Pam Ledtke, 51, from Indianapolis, who was about 75 yards from the finish line when the explosions went off. “They didn’t know what to do,” Ledtke said.
“All of a sudden, people were screaming,” Ledtke added.
The explosions occurred shortly before 3 p.m. near the intersection of Boylston and Exeter streets. Local media reports said store fronts were blown out.
Many of the injured appeared to be spectators who were watching the race. About half of the nearly 27,000 participants had reportedly finished the race when the blasts occurred. The racers came from at least 56 countries and territories.
“I saw two explosions,” reported Boston Herald journalist Chris Cassidy, who was running in the marathon. “The first one was beyond the finish line. I heard a loud bang and I saw smoke rising.” The blast “looked like it was in a trash can or something,” he said. “There are at least a dozen that seem to be injured in some way.”
Police established a crime scene around the Prudential Center, which is near the finish line. The blast apparently occurred about 300 yards from the finish line.
Authorities in New York and Washington tightened security precautions in the wake of the blasts.
Obama was notified of the incident, and the administration is in contact with state and local authorities, a White House official said. Obama directed his administration to provide whatever assistance is necessary in the investigation and response, the official said.
Shortly after being notified around 3 p.m., Obama 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 Gov. Deval Patrick to express his concern for those who were injured and to make clear that his administration is ready to provide support.
Witnesses described a chaotic scene in the immediate aftermath of the blasts.
Paul Cummings, a 44-year-old runner from Portland, Oregon, was in the medical tent near the finish line getting a leg massage when the explosions occurred.
“It didn’t sound like a water main blowing or anything else — it sounded like a bomb,” Cummings said. “Maybe I watch too much TV or something, but as soon as I heard it, I knew it was a bomb. It was just a loud explosion, and then another. You can’t hear a noise like that and think anything good happened.”
As police started bringing wounded people into the tent, Cummings quickly got up and left. “I just thought, ‘I’m out of here.’ ”
He stepped out into Copley Square to wailing sirens, people shouting and crying and police imploring the crowds to leave the area.
Jay Hartford, 46, a nurse at Boston Children’s Hospital, was about 800 yards from the finish when he heard the explosions. He thought they were electrical and kept running. Then he saw smoke billowing across Boylston Street. Runners started to panic, he said.
“Some people hit the ground, in shock,” he said. “A woman [runner] was on her knees screaming” in fear, not injury, not injury.
Police along the route started pushing barriers across Boylston, to keep runners from approaching the finish line, he said.
“Stop, turn back!” the police shouted to oncoming runners, Hartford said.
Hartford called wife and four boys, whom he had just seen along the route, and told them to go straight home.
Hartford became choked up at the enormity of this calamity befalling one of Boston’s most beloved traditions.
“It was going to be my best marathon, but I feel I’ve got to get to work” at the hospital, Hartford said.
Boston.com sports producer Steve Silva also was near the finish line when the explosions occurred.
“It was just immediately [evident] there were injuries, right in the middle of the spectator crowds,” Silva said. “There was blood everywhere, there were victims being carried out on stretchers. I saw someone lose their leg. People are crying. People are confused.”
Medical workers from a nearby medical tent dashed to help the victims, the eyewitnesses said. Volunteers jumped over tables piled with Gatorade bottles to attend to the wounded.
John Hampson, 19, a photographer for the Tufts University student newspaper, said race officials yelled at the bystanders to flee, saying there was a third bomb that had not exploded.
“There was a huge cloud of smoke, like a giant ball” when the bombs went off, he said.
One explosive seemed to go off in a building and another in a crowd of onlookers about six people deep, he said.
“It was horrifying. I felt it, and I saw the cloud... It was awful. Then people were coming by on stretchers,” he said.

Branigin reported from Washington. Mary Beth Sheridan in Boston, Lyndsey Layton, David Montgomery, Roxanne Roberts, Philip Rucker, Jule Tate and Amy Gardner contributed to this report.



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Two Explosions Rock Boston Marathon Finish Line; At Least 2 Dead, Dozens Injured

A Boston police officer clears Boylston Street following the explosions.
Charles Krupa/AP
Two explosions rocked the finish line of the Boston Marathon this afternoon, leaving at least 2 dead and dozens injured, the Boston Police Department reports.
The explosions happened in quick succession four hours after the beginning of the men's race. At that point, the majority of runners had crossed the finish line. Thousands, however, were still out on the course.
During a news conference, Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis was asked if this was terrorism.
"We're not being definitive," he said. "You can reach your own conclusions."
Video of the scene showed a big explosion near the finish line. The explosion was so strong, it threw one runner off his feet.
WGBH's Anne Mostue tells our Newscast unit she heard two very loud explosions within seconds of each other. Mostue said immediately after, she saw "people screaming and running toward the river."
"Police [were] pushing everyone away from Copley Square," WBUR's Bruce Gellerman said. "People crying, people sitting collecting their thoughts. Some of the runners still shaking."
A video feed of the marathon finish line showed empty stands and emergency workers on the scene. Images posted on twitter and taken by wire photographers showed bloodied runners and spectators lining the streets, the windows of nearby buildings blown out by the explosion.
The cause of the explosion has not been determined. But the AP reports that security has been beefed up in New York and Washington.
Update at 5:26 p.m. ET. Third Explosion 'Fire Related':
The Boston Police Department says the third explosion at the JFK Library "appears to be fire related."
Earlier the Boston Police said they were treating it as related to the two explosions at the finish line, but the JFK Library tweeted that fire in the building appeared to "have started in the mechanical room of new building."
Update at 4:57 p.m. ET. Third Explosion:
Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said during a televised news briefing that a third explosion happend at the JFK Library.
"We believe it's related," Davis said.
The JFK Library said the fire at the building has been put out and that investigators are investigating. The Library said "all staff and visitors are accounted for and safe."
Davis asked everyone in Boston to stay indoors and avoid congregating in large groups.
He was asked if this was a terrorist attack.
"We're not being definitive," he said. "You can reach your own conclusions."
Update at 4:50 p.m. ET. The Explosion:
The Boston Globe just posted video of the moment of the explosions. You can hear the first explosion, closely followed by a second one. Then you can hear, someone scream, "We need help," as authorities start removing the barriers to help the victims.
YouTube
Update at 4:12 p.m. ET. One Explosion Followed By Another:
NPR's Peter Sagal tells All Things Considered that he had just finished the marathon, when he heard an explosion. He said he turned his head and that's when the second explosion hit.
He said he was about 100 yards from the explosion and emergency personnel immediately descended on the scene.
Update at 4:09 p.m. ET. At Least 2 Dead:
The Boston Police Department reports on twitter that at least 2 people are dead and 23 people have been injured.
Update at 3:58 p.m. ET. Counter Terrorism Officials On The Scene:
NPR's Dina Temple Raston reports that the FBI has sent counter terrorism officials to the scene.
The White House says that President Obama has been notified of the incident and his administration is in contact with law enforcement authorities.
"He directed his administration to provide whatever assistance is necessary in the investigation and response," a White House official said.
Update at 3:46 p.m. ET. The Extent Of Injury:
WBUR is reporting that "at least a dozen are injured." CNN is reporting that at least 6 have been injured.
"Police pushing everyone away from Copley square. People crying, people sitting collecting their thoughts. Some of the runners still shaking," Bruce Gellerman reported.
A video of the explosion shows the official marathon clock hitting 4:09 as the explosion happens. The explosion is so severe, one runner is thrown off his feet.
At four hours, most runners would have already crossed the finish line.
Update at 3:35 p.m. ET. Live Coverage:
WBUR is streaming its live coverage here. The New England Cable News is streaming its live coverage hereThe Boston Globe is live blogging.
Update at 3:29 p.m. ET. 'Horrific':
The New England Cable News' Jackie Bruno tweeted that she was close enough to the blast that she felt the force of the explosion.
"Runners were coming in and saw unspeakable horror," Bruno tweeted. She also posted a photograph people tending to the injured. It shows one man lying on the ground, blood all over his legs.
Update at 3:22 p.m. ET. 'It Was Awful':
Aaron Michael, a witness tells WGBH that he looked outside when after the first explosion. That's when he heard the second one. :
"Boom, there was black smoke," he said. "Mass chaos. I saw one woman really, really badly hurt. She was being carried out by people, she was bleeding pretty badly. It wasn't a good scene. It was awful."
Update at 3:20 p.m. ET. Oldest Marathon:
As Mark reported earlier, The Boston Marathon is the oldest, most prestigious marathon in the world. Tens of thousands of runners participate in the race.
This is a breaking news story. We'll update as soon as we get more.