Fox News on April 16, 2013, reported a death toll so far of 3 dead, more than 100 hurt after two bombs explode at U.S. Boston Marathon. Excerpts below:
The deadly bombing at the Boston Marathon that killed at least three and injured at least 144 is believed to be an act of terrorism, senior White House officials told Fox News.
Two explosions tore through the finish line of the world-famous race just before 3 p.m., going off simultaneously as throngs of onlookers watched runners complete the 26.2-mile trek. The timing of the blasts immediately sparked suspicions of a deliberate act.
“When multiple devices go off, that’s an act of terrorism,” a senior administration official told Fox News, just moments after President Obama delivered a statement to the nation and did not use the word “terror.”
The official stressed that it was unclear whether a foreign entity like Al Qaeda was behind it or whether it was home-grown terrorism, prompting the president’s caution in characterizing the bombing.
A first responder source confirms to Fox News that five total explosive devices were found in the Boston area, including the two that exploded.
“There is no suspect,” said Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis. “There are people we’re talking to.”
Davis said at an evening press conference the bombing killed “at least three,” and multiple reports said one of the dead was an eight-year-old boy.
A first responder source tells Fox News all of the victims were either bystanders or marathon runners, and that two of the deceased were adults.
In addition to the deaths, more than 144 people were injured – including up to 10 with amputated limbs and 17 critically.
Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said during a press conference that no suspect is in custody. The first two explosions occurred at 2:50 p.m. – nearly five hours after the marathon began – about 50 to 100 yards apart, according to Davis. A third explosion occurred near the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in the Columbia Point section of Dorchester, several miles southeast of the marathon’s finish line, at around 4:15 p.m. Police could not say if it was related to the earlier explosions.
The horror unfolded as the city marked the 238th annual Patriot’s Day, commemorating the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. Competitors and race organizers were crying as they fled the bloody chaos, while some witnesses reported seeing victims with lost limbs.
“Somebody’s leg flew by my head,” a spectator, who gave his name as John Ross, told the Boston Herald. “I gave my belt to stop the blood.”
The FBI, which was treating the bombing as a terrorist investigation, was analyzing video from several area surveillance cameras.
“I saw two explosions. The first one was beyond the finish line. I heard a loud bang and I saw smoke rising,” Boston Herald reporter Chris Cassidy, who was running in the marathon, told the newspaper. “I kept running and I heard behind me a loud bang. It looked like it was in a trash can or something…There are people who have been hit with debris, people with bloody foreheads.”
While the White House does in fact believe terrorism was at play, lawmakers were increasingly reaching the same conclusion.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, reportedly said her understanding it “that it’s a terrorist incident.”
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., top Republican on that committee, also said that “as the evidence mounts that this was a terrorist attack, our intelligence and law enforcement agencies must do whatever is necessary to find and interrogate those responsible so we can prevent similar attacks.”
Authorities in New York, meanwhile, are deploying counter-terrorism vehicles around landmark sites in Manhattan, including prominent hotels, according to the New York City Police Department.
Nearly 25,000 people, including runners from around the world, competed in Boston’s celebrated 26.2-mile race, attracting huge throngs of onlookers, especially near the finish line.
“This is a horrific day in Boston,” Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said in a statement. “My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured. I have been in touch with the President, Mayor [Thomas] 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.”