Explosions at the Boston Marathon: Our Hearts Go Out to Runners, Families
Two explosions were heard near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, with reports of many injuries and two casualties, according to the Associated Press.
Updated 5:38 PM ET, 4/16/13: In a press conference, Special Agent Richard DesLauriers, who is heading the investigation of the explosions, said there are "no known additional threats" at this time. The FBI is seeking information from anyone who saw a person carrying a black nylon backpack or bag at the time of the explosions:
By noon, the FBI had reviewed over 2,000 tips today regarding bombings, but they need more theatln.tc/10ZTCHN— The Atlantic Wire (@TheAtlanticWire) April 16, 2013
UPDATED 3PM ET, 4/16/2013: CNN reports that the bombs were constructed from pressure cookers, and that "no suspects have been identified, and the motive remains unclear."
The second victim in Monday's explosions has been identified by the Boston Globe as a 29-year-old Massachusetts woman.
BREAKING NEWS: Second victim identified in Boston Marathon bombings: Krystle Campbell of Arlington.— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) April 16, 2013
Several news sources report that a Saudi student whose apartment was searched by officials has been found to have no connection to the explosions. The Washington Post reports that the man is a witness, he was injured in the explosions, and he volunteered to have his apartment searched:
Again, officials say injured Saudi is regarded as a witness, not a suspect, in Boston bombing. wapo.st/ZolYwU— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 16, 2013
UPDATED: 11:30 AM 4/16/2013: President Obama gave a press conference Tuesday morning. He noted the FBI is investigating the events at the Boston Marathon on 4/15/2012 as an act of terrorism. He stressed that while we don't know who carried out the attack or why, whether it was planned and executed by a terrorist organization or a malevolent individual, America will find whoever it was and bring them to justice. President Obama also noted the American people refuse to be terrorized, saying the stories that followed the attack showed American heroes and stories of love. President Obama has directed his administration to take appropriate security measures. The president asked the American people to be vigilant and report anything suspicious and expressed confidence in the officials handling the case. There will be more briefings as the day goes on, and we'll report what we know as information comes in.
UPDATED 9:55 AM ET 4/16/2013: In a live conference, Boston FBI investigator Richard DesLauriers asked people who have tips to call 1-800-494-TIPS. They are particularly looking for photos or videos from the explosion. The crime scene has been collapsed from 15 blocks to 12 and will continue to be collapsed as the crime scene is worked. There will be an enhanced police presence throughout metro Boston for the next week or so. The purpose of the enhanced police presence in Boston and at Logan Airport is meant to comfort the public as they move on with their lives. Only two explosive devices were found -- there were no unexploded devices. (On Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported that there may have been five more devices in the area that did not go off).
In a live conference Monday evening, the Boston police commissioner, Ed Davis, stated that there have been three confirmed deaths as a result of the explosions and media were widely reporting that one of the victims was a child. This morning, the name of the eight-year-old boy killed in the explosion was released, along with a photo.
President Obama spoke at 6:10 ET, saying that we don't have all the answers, nor is there a suspect in custody, but that the people responsible for the explosions "will feel the full weight of justice."
BREAKING: Obama: Government 'will increase security around the United States as necessary'— The Associated Press (@AP) April 15, 2013
"On days like this there are no Republicans or Democrats – we are Americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens." —President Obama— The White House (@whitehouse) April 15, 2013
The New York Post reported earlier today that a suspect was in the hospital with shrapnel wounds, being guarded, but Boston police later stated that there is still no suspect in custody.
BREAKING: Boston police commissioner says no suspect is in custody in marathon explosions— The Associated Press (@AP) April 15, 2013
The Associated Press and other sources are reporting that the first two explosions were caused by bombs and that a third, possibly unrelated, explosion occurred in the JFK Library in Boston:
BREAKING: Boston police commissioner: JFK Library fire doesn't appear to be related to marathon explosions— The Associated Press (@AP) April 15, 2013
Boston police confirms another explosion at JFK Library #breaking— Reuters US News (@ReutersUS) April 15, 2013
Danbury, Connecticut Mayor Mark tweeted that the race was dedicated to the families of the victims of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, some of whom were seated near the site of the explosions:
The last mile in the Boston Marathon was dedicated to the Newtown families. Some parents of Newtown victims were seated in the VIP section.— MayorMark (@MayorMark) April 15, 2013
Cellphone service shut down in Boston to prevent remote detonations of explosives, official says: apne.ws/ZwBMKb -CC— The Associated Press (@AP) April 15, 2013
BREAKING: Boston police commissioner urges people to stay indoors, not congregate in large groups— The Associated Press (@AP) April 15, 2013
The AP earlier reported that two more unexploded devices were found and are being dismantled:
BREAKING: Intelligence official: 2 more explosive devices found at Boston Marathon; being dismantled— The Associated Press (@AP) April 15, 2013
Checking in, helping out and finding people
Having been one of the organizers of a very small local race, I know how that security is a top concern for this kind of sporting event, and that friends and family gather at the finish line to cheer on their loved ones. I cannot imagine the devastation that took place in Boston.
People who are stranded in Boston can find a place to stay through another Google doc.
With cellphone service down, people in the area have tweeted that text messages are coming through sporadically. Google has created a Person Finder site for the Boston Marathon. The site will aggregate information as it becomes available. Anyone can search for the names of loved ones and first responders, and individuals can report about the whereabouts of people.
The Red Cross reports it does not need blood donors at the moment, but you can also register and find people in Boston through its registry.
Thanks to generosity of volunteer blood donors there is currently enough blood on the shelves to meet demand. #BostonMarathon— American Red Cross (@RedCross) April 15, 2013
How to follow the news
The Boston Globe's website has been down for several hours, but the @BostonGlobe Twitter account has been actively updating, along with others. Here are just a few of the tweets tagged #bostonmarathon:
BREAKING NEWS: Two powerful explosions detonated in quick succession right next to the Boston Marathon finsh line this afternoon.— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) April 15, 2013
BREAKING: Boston Police Department: 2 dead, 22 injured in 2 explosions near marathon finish line— The Associated Press (@AP) April 15, 2013
Finish line volunteers told to run. Describe fear "like 9/11 or the tsunami. (via @billy_baker)— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) April 15, 2013
We're okay, everyone. The explosions happened 1 block behind us. We had just walked past there 3 minutes before.— Dara Michalski (@cookincanuck) April 15, 2013
We'll be keeping an eye on the events as more information becomes available, and if you are in the area and have access, please leave a note to let us know that you are safe.