Explosions at the Boston Marathon: Our Hearts Go Out to Runners, Families

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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.

soldiers Boston

Image: © Nicolaus Czarnecki/ZUMAPRESS.com

Latest Updates

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:

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.

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:

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.

Martin Richard

Eight-year-old Martin Richard was killed in an explosion at the Boston Marathon as he waited to give his father a hug at the finishing line.©Whitehotpix (Image: © Whitehotpix/ZUMAPRESS.com)

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."

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.

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:

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 AP earlier reported that two more unexploded devices were found and are being dismantled:


April 15, 2013 Video grab of CNN taken on April 15, 2013 shows explosions happened in Boston, the United States. Two explosions occurred near the Boston Marathon finish line, at least 6 people injured, local media reported. (Image: © Wang Lei/Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS.com)

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.

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:

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