Two people were killed and at least 23 people were injured in two explosions that rocked the Boston Marathon steps away from the finish line.
A senior U.S. intelligence official said two more explosive devices were found near the area, and they were being dismantled.
The first blasts happened at about 2:50 p.m. near the intersection of Boylston and Exeter streets. Bloody spectators were carried away from the area, and witnesses said several victims lost limbs.
“People started throwing down the barricade and running over one another. I literally saw the garbage barrel explode, and I ran as fast as I could,” said one runner.
Boston police said two people died, and at least 22 were injured. Many tired and scared runners were seen wandering around the area, desperate to find loved ones.
Boston police said that within the last hour, there was an additional explosion at the JFK Library, but there are no known casualties or injuries from that explosion. Police don’t know if that explosion is related to the first two, but they are treating all the explosions as if they are linked (which makes sense).
Police have so far refused to confirm the number of casualties but the traditional media is reporting that at least two are dead and twenty-eight injured. All those injured have been transported away from the scene.
At this time, we don’t have a lot of solid information about this incident, or who is responsible. But it appears these blasts were an act of terrorism, not an accident, given that there were multiple explosions all in the same vicinity, and all during the afternoon of a public holiday (Patriot’s Day) in Massachusetts, when there are traditionally a lot of people downtown.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has asked people to go home (or back to their hotel rooms) and avoid congregating in crowds.
The White House says that President Obama has been notified and has directed his administration to provide whatever assistance that Massachusetts needs.
EYEWITNESS VIDEO: A person who was near the explosions in Copley Square has uploaded a short clip to YouTube. The clip begins right after the first explosion and shows reaction to the second. The Boston Globe, meanwhile, has graphic footage of both of the explosions. Be warned: It’s not for the faint of heart.