Two bombs explode at marathon finish line

Two bombs were detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday afternoon shortly before 3 p.m., killing three people and injuring 176 at the time of press. Two of the three people who were killed have been identified: eight-year-old Martin Richards of Dorchester, Mass. and 29-year-old Krystle Campbell of the Boston suburb Arlington, Mass. The name of the third victim killed has not yet been released but was confirmed yesterday to be a Boston University graduate student. 7 victims were still in critical condition at press.

The first bomb was placed either on the ground or in a garbage can on Boylston Street across from a finish line viewing area. The second bomb was concealed in a duffel bag and placed about 100 to 200 yards down the street in front of Forum restaurant at 755 Boylston. The bombs detonated approximately 12 seconds apart, wounding people near and around the finish line. An anonymous source reported that the bombs were put in 6-liter pressure cookers, hidden in black nylon bags and left on the ground. A law enforcement official confirmed that at least one and probably both of the bombs were packed with shrapnel including nails, ball bearings and black powder. A circuit board was found near the origin of the blast that they believe was used to detonate the bombs. The blast damaged windows of nearby buildings.

Victims of the blast were rushed to local hospitals, including the Boston Medical Center, Mass. General Hospital and the Boston Children’s Hospital. At least two of the 7 victims in critical condition were confirmed by the Children’s Hospital as a ten-year-old boy and nine-year-old girl with leg injuries. The Children’s Hospital has also been caring for a two-year-old with a head injury who they report is in good condition. A doctor from Mass. General reported 31 victims being treated at the hospital between 28 and 71 years old; four of the injured have required amputations and two others are at risk of losing a limb.

No terrorist groups have claimed responsibility for the attack and no suspects have been announced as of press time. Richard DesLauriers, the special agent in charge of the F.B.I.’s Boston division, is heading up the investigation, which is still in its infancy. Investigators have asked persons with any footage or photos from the Boston Marathon around the time of the explosion. The timing of the blasts comes at the beginning of a week that has sometimes held significance for radical American antigovernment groups, as it is the week of the April 15 deadline for filing taxes and Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts as well as the anniversary of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

The College responded to the explosions by extending support to community members affected by the trauma. “This afternoon we are all learning horrible news from the Boston Marathon,” Dean Bolton wrote in an all-campus e-mail sent Monday. “Even though details are starting to pour in about what took place, it’s hard to grasp such shocking events.  Our hearts go out to all those who may have friends or family injured in the explosions.”

President Obama will visit Boston tomorrow morning to speak at an interfaith service dedicated to those gravely wounded or killed in the blast.