Journalists on the ground are reporting that a pair of closely timed explosions at 2:50 p.m. at the finish line of today’s Boston Marathon have left dozens of people seriously injured. Meanwhile, the Associated Press has a new and extremely grisly account of the explosions.
So far very little is known for certain. The first AP report doesn’t shed much light on the situation.
Photographs from the scene posted to Twitter look dramatic.
— Tyler Wakstein (@theoriginalwak) April 15, 2013
boston marathon explosion twitter.com/GlobeDavidLRya…
— David L. Ryan (@GlobeDavidLRyan) April 15, 2013
— Bruce Mendelsohn (@brm90) April 15, 2013
We’ll have more as the story develops.
UPDATE: Fox News is reporting that the Boston Police Department is reporting at least three dead.
UPDATE 2: Chris Faraone, formerly of the Boston Phoenix, tweets that someone on scene reports having smelled gunpowder.
UPDATE 3: Reuters is reporting that NYPD deputy commissioner Paul Browne says New York police are stepping up security in response to the Boston explosions.
UPDATE 4: Because its 2013, there is a Vine of the explosion, including this before-and-after sequence:
UPDATE 5: Boston.com reports that a bomb squad will be conducting a controlled explosion shortly on Boylston Street.
UPDATE 6: At least 12 are dead and dozens are injured in the blasts, the New York Post is now reporting, quoting an unnamed federal law-enforcement source.
UPDATE 7: Chris Faraone reports that officials are ordering people to turn their cell phones off in the vicinity of the blasts. In contrast to the Post‘s report, the Boston Police Department is reporting two dead and 22 injured. The Boston Fire Department says there will be a 4:30 p.m. news conference.
Update 8: Chris Cassidy, a reporter at the Boston Herald who ran in the marathon, tells a colleague the second explosion appeared to come from a garbage can. Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration has declared a no-fly zone over Boston. The Associated Press reports that two additional explosive devices have been found at the marathon, and are being dismantled. For a better sense of where the explosions went off, take a look at this map from the Times.
UPDATE 9: Police are reporting another explosive device was discovered near the Harvard Square T stop. There was also a fire miles to the south at the JFK Library, but it’s not clear that that was related to the explosions downtown. The Atlantic has posted more photos from the immediate aftermath of the explosion, some of which you might not want to see.
UPDATE 10:The Globe has now upped its figures to two dead, 64 injured. The Boston Police Department is saying that they’re not certain that the fire at JFK Library was related to the other explosions. The Post is reporting that police are guarding a suspect, a Saudi national in the hospital for shrapnel wounds. Mayor Bloomberg has released a statement saying the NYPD’s entire counter-terrorism infrastructure is being mobilized. The AP is reporting that cell phone service has been shut down in Boston to prevent remote detonation of explosives, but Google has just released a Person Finder for those looking to connect with loved ones after the explosions. A Boston Police spokesmen told Talking Point Memo‘s Hunter Walker that they don’t have anyone in custody, apparently contradicting the Post‘s reporting, adding “Honestly, I don’t know where they’re getting their information from.” [Side note — regular readers of the Voice will remember that the Post’s reliance on anonymous law-enforcement sources when talking about terrorism is sometimes not to be taken at face value.]
UPDATE 11: The Boston Police are now confirming that the JFK Library incident was fire-related. The Globe is reporting that the count of people hospitalized after the blast now reaches 94, and that some of them are undergoing amputations.
UPDATE 12: The Post isn’t the only outlet reporting the “possible suspect” being guarded in the hospital. NBC is too. The White House says President Obama will address the nation at 6:10 p.m.
UPDATE 13: Speaking at the White House, Obama says “We don’t have all the answers. … We still do not know who did this, or why they did this.” Pointedly, he does not use the word terrorism.
UPDATE 14: CNN’s Jake Carpenter is reporting that two unexploded devices were found in Boston, one at a hotel. The latest reporting from the L.A. Times says officials are looking for a Penske truck seen leaving the area shortly before the blasts, and seconds the Post’s report that officials questioned a Saudi national taken to the hospital for injuries, but says that person is not identified as a suspect. NBC News is reporting that one of the two killed was an eight-year-old child.
The rush of news is slowing down now. We’ll have updates as major developments unfold.