Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Marathon bombs: Live Report

0109 GMT: Authorities announce that there will be no further updates until tomorrow morning so we are closing the Live Report on the bombings at the iconic Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured more than 100. Authorities have said they do not know who is behind the attacks or why, specifically declining to suggest whether the perpetrators might be foreign or American. The investigation will continue in the coming days and weeks.
 0058 GMT: Police confirm that three people were killed and more than 100 people were injured in the attack, but they decline to give specifics or confirm that a child was among those killed.
 0052 GMT: Police Commissioner Ed Davis vows to find the perpetrator or perpetrators of the twin blasts. "We will turn every rock over to find whoever did this."
0048 GMT: Patrick says everyone should expect tight security around the city tomorrow, especially on public transportation. He said the FBI has taken the lead in the investigation of the attack.

"It is a criminal investigation that is a potential terrorism investigation," the FBI special agent in charge Rick DesLauriers said.
0045 GMT: Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick takes the podium flanked by federal and local law enforcement officials.
0026 GMT: The organizers of the Boston Marathon issue a statement, expressing condolences to "all those who were affected in any way by today's events."
"Today is a sad day for the City of Boston, for the running community, and for all those who were here to enjoy the 117th running of the Boston Marathon. What was intended to be a day of joy and celebration quickly became a day in which running a marathon was of little importance.
"We can confirm that all of the remaining runners who were out on the course when the tragic events unfolded have been returned to a community meeting area.
The organizers also address the nitty gritty of getting runners who were evacuated from the course reunited with their things.
"At this time, runners bags in Boston which remain unclaimed may be picked up by runners presenting their bib number or proof of race participated at the Castle, at 101 Arlington Street, in Boston.
0005 GMT: Boston Medical Center issues an update: The hospital received 23 patients from the Boston Marathon, most of whom sustained lower leg injuries. Of those 23, 7 are listed in fair condition and the remaining 16 are serious. All patients are being cared for at this time.
2352 GMT: The death toll remains at two, but the number of injured continues to climb. US media now says more than 132 people were injured in the blasts.
2330 GMT: The flag over the US Capitol building has been lowered to half mast in honor of the dead.
2315 GMT: Residents of Boston offering up their homes to house runners and spectators who are stuck in the city without a place to stay. The hashtag #Bostonhelp has popped up on Twitter and the Boston Globe is reacting a sort of data base of offers.
Some are offering a couch to sleep on while a loved one gets medical treatment and a local Mexican restaurant is offering company.
@ElPelonTaqueria open wifi, place to charge cell, or just don't want to be alone, food and drinks, - pay only if you can #bostonhelp
2305 GMT: Boston police announce they will hold their next press conference at 0030 GMT at the Westin Hotel which is near the scene of the blasts.
2242 GMT: CNN and NBC report that an 8-year-old child was one of the two people killed in the attack in Boston.
2235 GMT: Speaker of the House John Boehner issues a statement about the blasts:
"Words cannot begin to express our sorrow for the families who are grieving so suddenly right now. The House of Representatives offers its prayers to the victims and the city of Boston. We also give thanks for all the professionals and Good Samaritans who prevents further loss of life. This is a terrible day for all Americans, but we will carry on in the American spirit, and come together with grace and strength."
2224 GMT: Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of Senate Intelligence Committee, says that although she has not been briefed, she believes the blasts look like terrorism. "I think it was an attack. We don't know whether it's homegrown... Or a foreign perpetrator," she says. Asked if there were any advance warnings of an attack she said, "Not to my knowledge."
2215 GMT: "On days like this there are no Republicans or Democrats -- we are Americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens," he says.
2113 GMT: "We will get to the bottom of this," he says. "Any responsible individual, any responsible group will feel the full weight of justice."
2210 GMT: President Barack Obama comes to the podium in the White House briefing room.
"The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight."
2205 GMT: Ryan Durkin, who works in a building about a block from the marathon finish line, tells AFP that at first he thought there had been a car crash or a gas line blast.
"I heard a car crash or something and moved to the window to see what it was and that's when I heard a second explosion. I immediately saw people and volunteers running away from the finish line ... I knew it was an explosion, I thought it was something related to the gas lines, it didn't set in it could be a bomb." In the minutes that followed, "I saw a lot of stretchers being taken out of vehicles."
Durkin said police evacuated his building about an hour later and he then walked home some 10 miles. "When I got out of the building I didn't look back."
2201 GMT: Reports that police have arrested a suspect "are not true," says Police Commissioner Ed Davis.
"We do not have a suspect in custody at this time."
2157 GMT: Officials tell TIME magazine that the explosions at the marathon were caused by "crudely made devices."
2151 GMT: President Barack Obama is due to address the nations on the bombings in Boston at 2210 GMT.
2142 GMT: The US Senate observes a moment of silence in honor of those killed and injured in Boston.
2139 GMT: Boston Medical Center announces it has received 20 patients, including two children, from the site of the marathon explosions. "Most of these patients have lower leg injuries," it said in a brief statement. "All patients are being cared for at this time." The hospital does not refer to fatalities.
2135 GMT: The Boston police department tweets that the explosion at the JFK Library appears to be related to a fire in the building and not related to the attacks at the marathon.
2133 GMT: Boston Globe report Billy Baker tweets:
"Massive police and military presence in city now. Boston Common full of uniforms. Scene is calmer, but ambulances continue to race by"
2121 GMT: Secretary of State John Kerry, who is from Boston, was informed of the explosions by a senior aide as his plane approached O'Hare International Airport in Chicago after a 10-day overseas trip. He was in Chicago to visit the family of Anne Smedinghoff, a Foreign Service Officer killed in an explosion in Afghanistan on April 6.
While on the ground the secretary contacted his youngest daughter, Vanessa, a doctor in Boston who has run the marathon in previous years, to confirm that family and friends were safe. Kerry, who served as a senator from Massachusetts from 1985 to 2013, has a long history with the marathon. This morning he noted it was one of the few years he wasn't on hand to fire the wheelchair race's starting gun.
2115 GMT: A witness tells CNN that from his hotel room 35 floors above Copley Square, he can see dozens of police cars and ambulances on the scene.
"It looks, literally, like a war zone out there."
2112 GMT: Boston Globe reports more than 100 people have been injured in these blasts. Graphic photos from the scene are being widely distributed on twitter and other social media, some showing severed limbs and blood all over the pavement.
2109 GMT: CNN reports the number of injured has jumped to 49.
2107 GMT: US reports that cell phone service in Boston has been cut by authorities.
2105 GMT: Google has established a "person finder" app that works to link people who are trying find someone who might be missing in the aftermath of the explosions.
2100 GMT: Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick calls this a "horrific day in Boston."
"My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured. I have been in touch with the president, Mayor Menino and our public safety leaders. Our focus is on making sure that the area around Copley Square is safe and secured. I am asking everyone to stay away from Copley Square and let the first responders do their jobs.”
2057 GMT: Police Commissioner Ed Davis says the third explosions is believed to be related to the events in Copley Square.
2052 GMT: Police confirm that a third explosion occurred at the JFK library in Boston, urge people to stay inside.
2050 GMT: President Barack Obama orders his administration to do whatever is necessary to respond to and investigate the blasts.
"He directed his administration to provide whatever assistance is necessary in the investigation and response," A US official says.
Officials said Obama was briefed by his top White House Homeland Security advisor Lisa Monaco and other senior aides.
2043 GMT: The Boston Marathon is one of the biggest and highest profile sporting events in the United States. Some 500,000 spectators line the 26.2-mile route. Unlike many other large races, runners have to qualify by running another race at a certain pace based on age. The race is run on "Patriots' Day," a regional holiday to mark the first battle of Revolutionary War.
This year marks the 117th running of the event. With cameras lining the finish line, including live video feeds, any incident is sure to be seen around the world.
2036 GMT: The London Marathon is set to be run this coming Sunday. Chief Superintendent Julia Pendry, event commander, says: "A security plan is in place for the London Marathon. We will be reviewing our security arrangements in partnership with London Marathon."
2036 GMT: US authorities have closed the air space over much of downtown Boston, CNN reports.
2024 GMT: Security is heightened around Washington, with pedestrians being pushed from Pennsylvania Avenue, the grand avenue in front of the White House. It was closed to traffic after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. Key landmarks are also on lockdown in New York City.
Vice President Joe Biden, during a telephone conference call with US women mothers pressing for tougher gun laws, calls the event a bombing.
"Apparently there has been a bombing. I don’t know any of the details. Our prayers are with those people in Boston who have suffered injury. I don't know how many there are," he says.
2020 GMT: NBC news reports that 'multiple explosive devices' have been found in Boston.
2018 GMT: Fox News reports that the Emergency Department at Massachusetts General Hospital was treating 10 people with severed limbs.
2012 GMT: The pair of explosions hit around 1900 GMT, a little more than four hours after the start of the race, as dozens of runners were crossing the finish line.
A video clip on Twitter shows an explosion going off -- just as the official race clock hit 4:09:44 -- apparently several feet back from the barricades and the line of national flags separating the sidewalk spectators and the street. One runner is seen staggering then falling onto his or her knees and back, while other runners kept going for a few more steps. Volunteers in yellow jackets covered their ears at the sound of the blast. Here's the link:
Authorities will speak to reporters at 2030 GMT.
WELCOME to AFP's Live Report on the twin explosions that have been reported at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, one of the country's highest profile athletic events.
Boston police have told US media that two people have been killed and at least 22 injured in a pair of blasts at or near the finish line.

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