Photo courtesy of Flickr user hahatango: Police and fire crews work to clear the scene of an explosion at the Boston Marathon April 15.
Alex Veeneman, Opinions Editor
At least three people are reported to have died in two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
The explosions took place on the afternoon of April 15 as runners were finishing and spectators observed. Police officials, writing in a blog post on their website, said the explosions took place just before 3 p.m. EDT on Boylston Street, along the route. Social media had been widely used to help people connect with loved ones and to keep up with events and statements.
A third incident took place at the site of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum over an hour later, with police commissioner Ed Davis saying it may have been a fire. Investigations are taking place on that incident.
A representative for Massachusetts General Hospital said there were 22 adult patients received from the marathon, eight of them in critical condition, and there were no deaths. A representative for Children’s Hospital Boston said 10 patients were received, and there were no deaths. Other reports indicate that the number of injured ranged from 125 to 175.
The American Red Cross, in a statement, said more than 100 blood products had been sent to hospitals in Boston, and that they were coordinating efforts with state and local officials. The statement added that there was enough blood to meet demand because of the previously high amount of donations.
In a speech, President Barack Obama said the people of Boston had the full resources of the federal government.
“We still do not know who did this or why, and people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts,” Obama said, according to a White House transcript. “We will get to the bottom of this. We’ll find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice.”
A White House official said the incident was being treated as an act of terrorism. A representative for the Boston Police Department said the FBI was taking a lead on the investigation, but the department was collaborating with the FBI on the investigation, and no one has been detained.
In Boston, some university campuses were still operating. A representative for Harvard University said all buildings were closed and all students were evacuated, but could not confirm a timetable for reopening. A representative for Boston University said the campus was operating as normal. An update from Boston College made available to members of the media said police at the college saw no present threat to the campus.
Logan Airport was shut down as a no-fly zone over Boston was ordered by the Federal Aviation Administration. It is not clear if any traffic was diverted to O’Hare International or Midway International Airports. A representative for the Chicago Department of Aviation declined to comment, deferring to the Federal Aviation Administration.
A representative for the FAA did not immediately respond to a telephone request for comment.
There are no reports of any Lewis students in the area. Matt Brendich, the director of sports information, said there were no athletes from Lewis participating in the marathon.
Lily Bui, a Boston resident, said she had just been cheering runners on in her street when the explosion occurred.
“It seemed that spirits were high in Boston for marathon day,” Bui said. “The news of what happened downtown was completely sobering. Everyone seems to be curious about the root causes and motivations for the bombings.”
Bui added, however, that Boston can overcome this.
“It’ll take time and will be approached with caution, but Boston is a resilient city,” Bui said.