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Three Killed As Boston Marathon Hit By Explosions (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

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Two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon that killed three people and left as many as 140 injured are being probed by the FBI in a "potential terrorist inquiry."

One of those killed in the blast is believed to be an eight-year-old boy.

Horrifying images of injured spectators and blood-splattered pavements were shown as television cameras broadcast footage of the blasts.

At least 17 people are critically injured, with a number needing amputations, reported the BBC.

boston marathon

An explosion rips through the finish line at the Boston Marathon

Dr Natalie Stavas, who works at Boston Children’s Hospital, told the New York Times how she was nearing the finish line when she felt the blast, which came around three hours after the winners had crossed the finish line.

“The police were trying to keep us back, but I told them that I was a physician and they let me through,” she said.

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Footage of blood spattered pavements was broadcast

She described the serious injuries of one women she gave CPR to, saying "her legs were pretty much gone.”

Stavas said she applied a tourniquet to one man’s leg with someone’s belt after he had lost his foot. “He was likely in shock,” she said. “He was saying, ‘I’m OK'"

boston marathon reporters

Over 100 people are believed to have been injured

Participants were seen lying on the ground as the two explosions tore through the finish line, sending smoke and debris soaring into the air.

The headquarters for the race was locked down after the blasts and a Boston Marathon spokesman told Reuters that no one would be allowed in or out of the building.

boston explosion coverage

Later at a press conference, Boston police commissioner Ed Davis said there were "simultaneous explosions" that resulted in "multiple casualties".

Davis also said that a third incident had occurred at JFK library in the city but this was later confirmed as being unrelated.

There had been reports of a suspect being held at a city hospital were dismissed by Ed Davis, Boston's Police Commissioner, who told a press conference this morning that no suspect had been arrested.

Other cities soon responded to the events including New York where authorities put anti-terrorism vehicles in place around major landmarks while the White House was reported as receiving extra protection.

Pictures emerged on Twitter showing casualties lying on the pavement on Boylston Street in Boston - the main road through the east coast city - and debris blowing around them.

Another photograph appeared to show participants running down the street at the moment an explosion created a fireball, sending smoke into the air.

boston marathon explosion

The finishing line was packed with spectators

Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick espressed his horror at the explosions. In a statement he said: "This is 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.”

It's not clear whether or not there have been any British casualties although a list of competitors on the Boston Marathon website showed that 347 British runners were expected to line up for the race which involved 25,000 participants.

Runner Darren Foy, 40, from Southampton and his wife Sandra and their two children missed the explosions by just 30 minutes after he finished the marathon in three and half hours.

Speaking from the city, the chartered surveyor said: "We were on our way home when we heard something had happened and I was getting messages like 'are you Ok?' which I never get. It's all quite shocking really.

"We got home and we looked at the BBC online and saw there had been explosions but we are OK because I finished in three and a half hours and we were on the bus when it happened.

"We are staying five miles outside and I'm not intending to go back into the city for a few days.

"It's such a soft target. There are hundreds of thousands spectators on the streets and 27,000 runners, so we got off lightly."

boston marathon

Emergency workers at the scene after the explosions

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are aware of the incident and we are trying to gather information."

Foreign secretary William Hague tweeted: "Appalled by news of explosion at Boston marathon. My thoughts are with everyone affected by it and all those waiting for news."

And the British ambassador to the United States added: "Awful news of explosions in Boston. Thoughts are with those injured or killed, and their families. Our team in touch with MA [Massachusetts] authorities."


Boris Johnson
Shocked by events at the Boston Marathon - my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families tonight.

Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander also expressed his concern via Twitter, saying: "Horrified to hear reports of explosions at the Boston Marathon. My thoughts are with all those affected."

Labour leader Ed Miliband, who taught at Harvard University in Massachusetts, commented: "Appalling news from Boston. All of my thoughts are with the casualties and their families."

With the London Marathon just days away in which thousands of athletes and fun runners will be on the streets of the capital, the Metropolitan Police said it would be looking at security arrangements following the events in Boston.

"A security plan is in place for the London Marathon. We will be reviewing our security arrangements in partnership with London Marathon," said chief superintendant Julia Pendry.

Nick Bitel, London Marathon chief executive, said: "We are deeply saddened and shocked by the news from Boston. Our immediate thoughts are with the people there and their families. It is a very sad day for athletics and for our friends and colleagues in marathon running.

boston marathon bomb

The scene at the finish line immediately after one of the blasts

"Our security plan is developed jointly with the Metropolitan Police and we were in contact with them as soon as we heard the news."

A video of one of the explosions going off shows a bright orange blast and runners falling to the ground.

Footage from the aftermath of the incident shows much confusion with emergency services rushing to help the injured and taking bloodied spectators to a medical tent. Many ambulances could then be seen arriving to rush casualties to hospital.

"There are a lot of people down," said one runner quoted by AP news agency.

ABC Eyewitness News tweeted:


ABC7 Eyewitness News
BOSTON MARATHON: MGH trauma nurse says people coming in with severed limbs, kids with severe burns & many casualties

The explosions came around three hours after the winners had crossed the line.

The organisers of the marathon issued a statement on its facebook page, which said: "There were two bombs that exploded near the finish line in today's Boston Marathon. We are working with law enforcement to understand what exactly has happened."

Vice president Joe Biden, who was at a conference on gun control, said: "Apparently there has been a bombing. Our prayers are with those people in Boston who have suffered injuries. I don’t know how many there are."

The race was being held on Patriots' Day, celebrated as an official holiday in Massachusetts and Maine, which honours the first military actions - the Battles of Lexington and Concord - against the British at the start of the War of Independence, on 19 April 1775.

There was a 26-second period of silence before the race began to honour the children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootinng in Newton, Connecticut last year. As runners passed mile 26, they were met by a marker with the Newtown seal in another display of dedication to those who were gunned down in the Connecticut hamlet.

GRAPHIC WARNING: Boston Marathon explosion
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One marathon suspect has been captured, according to an official with knowledge of the investigation.

Another remains on the loose in Watertown after a firefight with police. Authorities have established a 20-block perimeter as they search for him.

Read more here.

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new photo suspect 2

Just hours after the FBI released the first photos of suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, a new photo of Suspect 2 may have emerged.

David Green, 49, of Jacksonville, Fla., had just completed his first Boston Marathon, when he snapped a picture with his iPhone 4S, taken at 2:50, just after the two blasts ripped through the finish line area, killing three people and injuring more than 180 others.

The FBI has not publicly confirmed this photo as Suspect 2, but Green told the Huffington Post that an agent told him, "this is probably the best we have right now."

The man who appears to be Suspect 2 is wearing a white hat with a "3" on the side as seen in the publicly-released photos.

Read more here.

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Minutes before the bombs blew up in Boston, Jeff Bauman looked into the eyes of the man who tried to kill him.

Just before 3 p.m. on April 15, Bauman was waiting among the crowd for his girlfriend to cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon. A man wearing a cap, sunglasses and a black jacket over a hooded sweatshirt looked at Jeff, 27, and dropped a bag at his feet, his brother, Chris Bauman, said in an interview.

Read more here.

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info wars

BOSTON -- Moments after the FBI revealed images of two baseball cap-wearing men wanted for questioning about the Boston bombings, the press conference descended into a sideshow.

A journalist from a far-right wing website called Info Wars shouted out a question accusing the government of carrying out the attack that killed three, and maimed or injured 170 others.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard Deslauriers ignored the allegation of a government conspiracy from reporter Daniel Bidondi, but the Alex Jones protege did not stop hollering.

"The FBI lies," Bidondi said. "We've got the proof," he said accusing the government of a "false flag" attack in which it staged the blasts and made them appear like the work of terrorists.

Bidondi found himself at the center of an media scrum with cameras and microphones pointed at his face after law enforcement officials left the podium in the Sheraton hotel.

Another reporter ridiculed Bidondi from across the room, telling him to shut up and calling him an asshole.

The excitement quickly dissipated as reporters returned to delivering the news about the official images of the suspects.

Bidondi has been a presence at other press conferences this week related to the bombing investigation.

--Michael McLaughlin / HuffPost Crime

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misspelled Bidondi's last name. We regret the error.

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Dr. Ralph Gross, a facial recognition expert at Carnegie Mellon University, said the FBI photos of two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing are likely too grainy to be matched against a driver's license database or Facebook. But he thinks they may be just good enough for someone who knows the individuals to identify them.

"The resolution isn't particularly good. The one that's kind of best is unfortunately a side view -- and in general the face recognition software works best with frontal view," he said.

Research has consistently found, however, that people can spot people they know even in grainy, off-center photographs.

"Humans are actually very good at recognizing people that they are familiar with," Gross said. "Somebody that might know these guys, or might know the way they dress, might certainly be able to recognize them."

The FBI said the men should be considered armed and dangerous, and urged tipsters to call 1-800-CALL-FBI if they believe they have information that could lead to an arrest.

--Matt Sledge

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The New York Daily News reportedly doctored its front page photograph of the Boston bombings (see update below).

WARNING: LINK GOES TO GRAPHIC PHOTO

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CNN reports that, because of a flood of traffic, the FBI's site is temporarily down.

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FBI's Richard Richard DesLauriers said the only official photos that should be relied upon in the investigation are the pictures the FBI unveiled.

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Richard DesLauriers "somebody out there knows these individuals". They are considered armed and extremely dangerous.

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The FBI's Richard Richard DesLauriers unveils photos of two suspects.

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The press conference is scheduled for 5 p.m. Watch it here.

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From The Huffington Post's Michael McLaughlin ...

Christine Anastos and her therapy dog Windy comforted runners who dropped in to the Boston Athletic Association's offices today.

Windy, a black labrador who retired from Guiding Eyes for the Blind, was a big hit with the Marathoners.

"I don't think there was a moment when someone wasn't petting her," she said about Windy,who was joined by a Newfoundland and boxer. "All she has to do is be herself. She's so sensitive. She takes in all the emotion."

Anastos makes Windy available through Therapy Dogs International There are more than 100 therapy dogs available within a 20 mile radius of Boston, she said, so people should contact the group if they're interested.

boston dog christine anastos and windy

Christine Anastos and Windy

boston dog windy

WIndy

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The New York Post once again found itself in trouble after it published front-page photos of two men on Thursday who it said were being searched for in connection with the Boston bombings. The problem? They were completely innocent.

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The FBI press conference scheduled for 5 p.m. today is the first public briefing in two days, according to Fox News.

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boston

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 18: Boston Mayor Thomas Menino pauses after speaking at an interfaith prayer service for victims of the Boston Marathon attack titled 'Healing Our City,' at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on April 18, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Authorities investigating the attack on the Boston Marathon have shifted their focus to locating the person who placed a black bag down and walked away just before the bombs went off. The twin bombings at the 116-year-old Boston race, which occurred near the marathon finish line, resulted in the deaths of three people and more than 170 others injured. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

boston

US President Barack Obama speaks during the 'Healing Our City: An Interfaith Service' dedicated to those who were gravely wounded or killed in the Boston Marathon bombing, at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, Massachusetts, on April 18, 2013. Obama is in Boston to mourn victims of the deadly marathon attacks, as investigators study images of a suspect who may have planted the bombs. No arrests have been made in connection with Monday's twin bombings near the finish line of the race, which sent metal fragments and nails into a crowd of thousands of runners and spectators, killing three people and wounding 180. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad

boston

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 18: Former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney attends an interfaith prayer service for victims of the Boston Marathon attack titled 'Healing Our City,' where President Barack Obama spoke at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on April 18, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Authorities investigating the attack on the Boston Marathon have shifted their focus to locating the person who placed a black bag down and walked away just before the bombs went off. The twin bombings at the 116-year-old Boston race, which occurred near the marathon finish line, resulted in the deaths of three people and more than 170 others injured. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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A local paper in Minnesota ran an unfortunately placed ad for a pressure cooker -- right next to a story about the Boston Marathon bombing, which was likely carried out using pressure cookers packed with shrapnel and explosives.

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From the AP:

BOSTON -- Kenneth Feinberg, an attorney who managed the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, will design and administrator of a new fund to help people affected by the Boston Marathon bombing.

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Boston Marathon Fund raises more than million in 24 hours.

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From The Huffington Post's Michael McLaughlin ...

BOSTON -- The sight of bright blue and yellow windbreakers and t-shirts have become an instant symbol of Boston's healing and unity since Monday's double bombing.

The flashy colors are worn mainly as the official gear of the marathon. Blue is for the 23,000 runners and yellow is for the thousands of volunteers. Adidas also produces versions of the merchandise that's available to the paying public.

"This is my sport. This is my city," said Kim Stemple, a race volunteer wearing a lemon yellow jacket available on Thursday

"We know each other. We're each other's best therapy," she said about other volunteers.

Griffin Schroeder donned the blue runners' jacket as he stood near a memorial on Boylston Street before heading back to Wisconsin.

"It's out of respect," the 27-year-old said, adding that it's a symbol of completely the grueling event. "It's a very important accomplishment."

The windbreaker is an open invitation to talk with other marathoners. "I might ask someone if they finished the race. Or if I see someone we give a nod to each other."

Volunteer Susan Furgal of Brockton, Mass wept Thursday as she wore hers near the bomb site.

"I had to make myself come back," she told HuffPost.

Others find simple comfort in displaying that they were a part of the marathon.

"I just feel good wearing it," said Lene Henricksen, 51, from Denmark who was interrupted by the attack before finishing the 26.2 mile course. "This should never happen again. The marathon should go on."

boston marathon

Griffin Schoder wears the blue runner's jacket "out of respect" for the attack, but also because he's proud to have completed the testing race.

boston marathon runners pat cohen and kim stemple

Race volunteers Pat Cohen and Kim Semple embrace near the makeshift memorial of flowers and candles on Boylston Street

boston marathon runners lene henricksen

The race was called off before Henricksen, of Denmark, got to the finish line. She had the misfortune of traveling to New York for last fall's marathon that was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy.

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From The Huffington Post's Christina Wilkie: Relatives of bomb victims who remained in the Intensive Care Unit of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston on Thursday were unable to watch President Obama's tribute to those killed and injured in the blast, but they were nonetheless very keen to know what the president said. One family member of a renect amputee sent a text to HuffPost during the speech that said, "ICU has no TV's! How is it?" By all accounts, it was a very good speech.

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"This time next year on the third Monday in April the world will return to this city to run even harder."

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