It looks like a terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon, killing two and injuring 100. A Saudi national has been arrested. [I posted an update this morning, but it didn’t go through, for some reason! Yes, the last I saw, the casualty count is now 3 dead and 170 injured. I also said that the Saudi national referred to in earlier accounts is not being mentioned much. He is in custody, but not arrested, though police have searched his home. It is true that we don’t know who did this right now and shouldn’t be jumping to conclusions.]
Two huge explosions rocked the Boston Marathon finish line at Copley Square just before 3 p.m. today, killing two and causing scores of casualties, including several traumatic amputations on streets crowded with runners, spectators and post-race partiers.
The number injured has soared to 100 — including three children suffering from lower leg injuries, hospital officials tell the Herald.
“We will get to the bottom of this. We will find out who did this and we will find out why,” said President Obama this evening. “They will feel the full weight of justice.
“Boston is a tough and resilient town. Residents will pull together, take care of each other and move forward,” he added. “The American people are with them every step of the way.”
Obama called both Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino.
“We’ve had a horrific attack in Boston this afternoon,” Gov. Deval Patrick said at a press conference, where police confirmed two explosions at the finish line at 2:50 p.m. and a third fire or “incendiary device” at the John F. Kennedy Library, where black smoke was seen billowing.
“This is a tragedy,” said Menino today. “We’re going to work together on this.” He added he gives his “condolences and prayers” to the families of the injured and killed runners.
Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said no suspect has been apprehended, but numerous people are being interviewed.
Massachusetts General Hospital, with 22 patients, reported that six were critical, including four with traumatic amputations. Boston Medical Center reported 20 injured with two children among the injured there. Their conditions were not immediately available. Tufts Medical and Brigham and Women’s Hospital also reported injured and well as Beth Israel Hospital —bringing the total to at least 100.
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.”
People were yelling, “I need my kids!”
“It was horrific!” said a man who gave his name as Brian Walker. “I saw some horrific wounds. You could literally feel the rush of wind.”
Trevor Finney described “panic” and said he saw a teen girl apparently missing a leg being carried away.
City Council President Steve Murphy, who was at the finish line when the two explosions happened, said, “Police sources say they are finding more devices.”
Police have discovered at least two other devices and had a controlled detonation on at least one object.