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.
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.
Authorities are investigating a report of two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Two loud “booms” were heard near the race’s end, inside the Fairmount Copley Plaza Hotel.
Race officials locked down the hotel because of the report.
Dozens of ‘tweets’ hit the internet about 2:45.
There are reports of several people being injured. Some people were reportedly missing limbs. Others had blood on their heads.
WBZ-TV producer Ken Tucci, reported seeing more than ten people taken away from the scene on stretchers.
“We still do not know who did this or why, and people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts,” Obama said. “But make no mistake — we will get to the bottom of this.”
A spokeswoman for Massachusetts General Hospital in the city told Reuters news agency that it was treating 19 victims of the explosions in its emergency room, but information about their condition was not immediately available.
The city mayor’s office has set up an emergency hotline for friends and relatives on+1 617 635 4500.
A White House official said President Obama had called Boston Mayor Tom Menino and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to offer federal assistance.
Boston police tweeted: “23 injuries, 2 dead.”
Boston Herald reporter Chris Cassidy, who was running in the marathon, said, “I saw two explosions. The first one was beyond the finish line. I heard a loud bang and I saw smoke rising. I kept running and I heard behind me a loud bang. It looked like it was in a trash can or something. That one was in front of Abe and Louie’s. There are people who have been hit with debris, people with bloody foreheads.”
“Somebody’s leg flew by my head, said a spectator who gave his name as John Ross. “I gave my belt to stop the blood.”
US president Barack Obama said at a news conference that while authorities still did not know who was responsible for the bombing, he promised ”we will get to the bottom of this”.
”We will find out who did this and hold them accountable,” he said.
”Boston is a tough and resilient town … and will move forward as one proud city.”
The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, about 45 miles south of Boston, was already shut down for refuelling when the explosions occurred.
Ms Johnson said her friend, aged 60, was about 20 to 30 minutes from finishing when the bombs exploded. Ms Johnson, who did not compete but was waiting nearby, said fears for her friend’s safety would not be allayed until she could confirm she was safe.
Fellow Australian marathon runner Travis Stevens finished the race exactly one hour before the first bomb blast. He was at a pub 400 metres from the finish line when it occurred.
Mass Confusion Near Explosion Site
A CNN producer saw and heard explosion at Boston Marathon