Shock, bloodshed and mayhem enveloped Boston Marathon as two bombs exploded on Monday afternoon killing 3 people instantly, including an 8 year old child and injuring more than 150 people. It is believed that the bombs were placed in garbage cans, and one of them exploded at around 2. 50 pm hurling people in a gigantic smoke burst. The incident happened in Bolyston Street, meters away from Copley Square. Few seconds later, there was another bomb blast some hundred feet away.
The scene was full of panic and bloodshed, as rescue workers rushed into help the severely wounded, injured and maimed people. A special agent who represents the Boston FBI Bureau said, “This is a potential terrorist investigation.”
Some runners were approaching the finishing line at the end of the 26.2 mile race when the blasts occurred. Jarrett Sylvester, a runner from East Boston recalls, ““The first one went off, I thought it was a big celebratory thing, and I just kept going. And then the second one went off, and I saw debris fly in the air. And I realized it was a bomb at that point. And I just took off and ran in the complete opposite direction.”
A law enforcement officer pointed out that there were not two, but four explosive devices; two of them were deactivated by police.
President Obama, speaking at the White House, promised to bring perpetrators of the blasts to justice. He said, “We will get to the bottom of this. We will find who did this, and we will find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.”
This was a heinous and cowardly act, and given what we know about what took place, the F.B.I. is investigating it as an act of terrorism,” Mr. Obama said in a brief appearance at the White House. “Anytime bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terror.”
“What we don’t yet know, however, is who carried out this attack or why,” the president said, “whether it was planned and executed by a terrorist organization, foreign or domestic, or was the act of a malevolent individual. That’s what we don’t yet know.”
“The American people refuse to be terrorized,” Mr. Obama said. “What the world saw yesterday in the aftermath of the explosion were stories of heroism and kindness and generosity and love.”
While the president said that the authorities were not clear about the attack beings foreign or domestic, he seemed to have issued a clear-cut warning to the foreign perpetrators. “If you want to know who we are, what America is, how we respond to evil, that’s it: selflessly, compassionately, unafraid,” he said.
Police officials have shunned Back Bay neighborhood, planes have been grounded at the Boston Logan International Airport, the Boston Celtics game has been cancelled and the Boston Symphony Orchestra was also shut on Monday night. Police has informed people in Boston to stay at home and not congregate in large crowds.
One Stephanie Douglas from Virginia who had come to cheer her friend Linda Claire Wilts saw the blast unfold before her eyes. She compared the Boston Marathon bombing to the 2008 attack in India, when she saw Mumbai being attacked by Pakistani terrorists who laid siege to several prominent places in the commercial capital of India.
“This is twice I’ve been in two cities when this kind of thing has been happening,” said Miss. Douglas to CNN. Wilts had crossed the finishing line at the Boston Marathon and texted Douglas who was waiting at the bar close to the street at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
“I’m on my way,” Willits said. Just then both witnessed the first explosion. Douglas recounted, “”It was so strong the bar filled up with smoke and chairs tipped over.I saw people — it was like they were on a trampoline literally flying through the air. Outside, one man’s legs were blown off, but he kept trying to stand up.
Wilts who survived said, “”This has been a traumatic event.”
Investigators have said that these were home-made bombs made from pressure cookers, which are also Al Qaeda’s ‘weapon of choice’ packed with ball-bearings and nails. This pressure cooker bomb was also used by Al Qaeda was also used in Times Square in 2010
Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and is one of the six most popular world marathon majors. 2013 was the 117th edition of the event. The race runs through 26 miles and 385 yarsd and is held on Patriot Day, the 3rd Monday of April. It is most likely that the attack was one-man operation, according to US security experts. They said that the bombs may have been concealed in a backpack to avoid suspicion of onlookers.
Retired FBI bomb technician Kevin G Miles said, “It would take some coordination, some know-how and some intelligence, but a lot of bombers throughout history have been one person.” He added, “There are thousands and thousands of people. You’re not going to be able to check everybody’s backpack, everybody’s gym bag. Every runner’s got a backpack… We’re a free country. This isn’t Russia or Cuba.” He said that the white smoke meant a ‘commercially available explosive.”
Surgeons recounted how operating theaters resembled battlefield hospitals as injured victims were rushed in with wounds that looked as if they were a result of warfare injuries. Reports say that the these were home-made little explosives with ball bearings that were aimed at tearing of the legs, calves, ankles and feet. 10 victims have lost limbs in what is seen as the worst terror attack on US soil since 9/11. In one instance, two brother lost a leg each in the blast.
“These runners just finished and they don’t have legs now,’ 35-year-old Roupen Bastajian, a Rhode Island state trooper and former Marine, told the New York Times. ‘So many of them. There are so many people without legs. It’s all blood. There’s blood everywhere. You got bones, fragments. It’s disgusting.’ Even experienced firefighters were sickened by what looked like total mayhem in a cheerful looking Boston.
Boston Fire Department District Chief Ron Harrington told NBC News, “In 28 years, this is definitely the worst I have seen. ‘Bodies and body parts. Blood all over. A little boy lying in the street. A young woman in her twenties. Both dead. It was mayhem. I saw two people with arms hanging loose, and one without a leg. A shoe with flesh still in it.’
‘Somebody’s leg flew by my head,’ spectator John Ross told the Boston Herald. ‘I gave my belt to stop the blood.’ People were seen tearing off their shorts to use as tourniquets to stop bleeding. ‘
The silver lining in the cloud was the helpful nature of people in this difficult time. ‘People are good. We met a woman who let us come into her home and is giving us drinks,’ tweeted Ali Hatfield, a Kansas City, Missouri runner who was in town for the race.
The picture of an 8 year old Martin Richard who died waiting for his father to cross the finishing line is a telling episode of the Boston bombing. He was just about to give his running father a hug at the finishing line, died instantly as the bomb exploded as did a woman in her twenties. Bill Richard, the father was a sign of despair and desolation as he came to terms with his son’s deather and the injuries suffered by his wife and six year old daughter. Martin’s six-year-old sister lost a leg in the blast and his mother Denise is in hospital undergoing brain surgery. Martin’s older brother, believed to be in the fifth grade, escaped injury.
17 of the injured are in critical condition and at least 11 victims need amputations.
The FBI announced that they are on the lookout for a man who has dark skin, wears black clothes and carried a black back-pack who was seen try to enter into a restricted area during the marathon. He reportedly had a foreign accent.
Boston Marathon Explosion – Pictures
Here is the picture of Martin Richard who died waiting for his father to cross the finishing line. In the second photo, you see the family of Martin, his father Bill and his mother who is undergoing brain surgery. His six year old sister has lost her leg
These are the locations where the two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon
Boston Marathon Explosion – suspect pictures
The following two pictures show suspects in Boston Marathon blast. They were found suspiciously walking at the area.
Boston Marathon Explosion video
Helpful Hotline Numbers
Boston Mayor’s Hotline for families of victims:
Boston Police line for witnesses who may have information: