Explosives detonated at Boston Marathon

by Antonio Zaragoza

AP Photo/Charles Krupa
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Four hours into the Boston Marathon, two explosions were detonated near the viewing stands at the Boston Marathon finish line. According to the Boston news center WCVB-TV, the first explosion occurred at approximately 2:45 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and the second explosion occurred about 15 seconds later more than 500 feet away.

The explosions were located on Boylston Street in areas crowded with people cheering for runners finishing the race. Witnesses described hearing two loud explosions. Several people were hit with debris and some storefront windows were blown out. Photographs of the scene show bloodied bodies, some visibly missing limbs.

WCVB-TV in Boston has reported two people killed and several dozen wounded, but the extent of the injured and deceased cannot be confirmed at this time.

Boston Police Department has found at least two other unexploded devices and police bomb squads have begun controlled explosions in order to deactivate the devices. Boston officers are on “maximum alert,” and all off-duty police officers have been called to duty.

Boston officials have asked anyone with video or photographs near the finish line to contact the Boston Police Department. Police also asked people in the area to not use their cellphones for fear they could detonate other devices, which has prompted concerns that the explosives may have been remotely activated.

New York City and Washington, D.C. have been elevated to a heightened state of alert. In a statement to ABC News, an anonymous federal law enforcement official said the bombing was absolutely intentional, using small, portable, homemade devices. The entire area is being treated as a crime scene.

San Diego State University international business senior Ericka Brunner’s aunt Alicia Barrutia, who was running the marathon, was less than 600 meters away from the finish line when the explosions occurred.

“She was unable to finish after the sight of so many injured bodies. She only thanked god she was ok and thought there’s a reason why these things happen,” Brunner said.

Barrutia was able to reach her family via Facebook and reported being safe although distraught.

In a press conference, Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said there was a third explosion at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum near the finish line, but it is unclear whether it was related or not. No injuries were reported at the library explosion.

A phone number for people to help find loved ones is 617-635-4500.  Anyone with information, pictures or videos that could help in the investigation should call 1-800-494-TIPS (8477).