UPDATE: Boston Marathon bombs built out of pressure cookers packed with shrapnel

The Associated Press
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Published on April 16, 2013

One of the blast sites on Boylston Street near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon is seen in Boston today. one day after bomb blasts killed three and injured over 140 people. FBI agents searched a suburban Boston apartment overnight and appealed to the public for amateur video and photos that might yield clues to who carried out the Boston Marathon bombing. — Photo by The Associated Press

Published on April 16, 2013

Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston Monday. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. — Photo by The Associated Press/Charles Krupa

Published on April 16, 2013

Medical responders run an injured man past the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston Monday. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the marathon finish line. — Photo by The Associated Press

Published on April 16, 2013

Shawn Stratton

Published on April 16, 2013

An unidentified Boston Marathon runner leaves the course crying near Copley Square following an explosion in Boston Monday.
Eleven Newfoundland racers were competing. None were injured.— Photo by The Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — The bombs that ripped through the crowd at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding more than 170, were fashioned out of pressure cookers and packed with metal shards, nails and ball bearings to inflict maximum carnage, a person briefed on the investigation said Tuesday.

The details on the apparently crude but deadly explosives emerged as investigators appealed to the public for amateur video and photos that might yield clues to who carried out the attack. The chief FBI agent in Boston vowed “we will go to the ends of the Earth” to find those responsible.

A person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still going on said the explosives were put in 6-litre kitchen pressure cookers, hidden in black duffel bags and left on the ground. They were packed with shrapnel, the person said.

The person said law enforcement officials have some of the bomb components but do not yet know what was used to set off the explosives.

A doctor treating the wounded appeared to corroborate the person’s account, saying one of the victims was maimed by what looked like ball bearings or BBs. Doctors also said they removed a host of sharp objects from the victims, including nails that were sticking out of one little girl’s body.

At the White House, President Barack Obama said that the bombings were an act of terrorism but that investigators do not know if they were carried out by an international organization, a domestic group or a “malevolent individual.”

He added: “The American people refuse to be terrorized.”

Across the U.S., from Washington to Los Angeles, police stepped up security, monitoring landmarks, government buildings, transit hubs and sporting events. Security was especially tight in Boston, with bomb-sniffing dogs checking Amtrak passengers’ luggage at South Station and transit police patrolling with rifles.

“They can give me a cavity search right now and I’d be perfectly happy,” said Daniel Wood, a video producer from New York City who was waiting for a train.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said there was no evidence the bombings were part of a wider plot. But she said security was stepped up as a precaution.

Similar pressure-cooker explosives have been used in Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Pakistan, according to a July 2010 intelligence report by the FBI and Homeland Security. Also, one of the three devices used in the May 2010 Times Square attempted bombing was a pressure cooker, the report said.

“Placed carefully, such devices provide little or no indication of an impending attack,” the report said.

The Pakistani Taliban, which claimed responsibility for the 2010 attempt in Times Square, has denied any role in the Boston Marathon attack.

The two bombs blew up about 10 seconds and around 100 yards apart Monday near the finish line of the 26.2-mile race, tearing off limbs, knocking people off their feet and leaving the streets stained with blood and strewn with broken glass. The dead included an 8-year-old boy.

“We started grabbing tourniquets and started tying legs. A lot of people amputated,” said Roupen Bastajian, a state trooper from Smithfield, R.I., who had just finished the race when he heard the explosions.

Gov. Deval Patrick said that contrary to earlier reports, no unexploded bombs were found.

Federal investigators said no one had claimed responsibility for the bombings, which took place at the world’s best-known distance race, held every year on one of Boston’s biggest holidays, Patriots’ Day.

“We will go to the ends of the Earth to identify the subject or subjects who are responsible for this despicable crime, and we will do everything we can to bring them to justice,” said Richard DesLauriers, FBI agent in charge in Boston.

He said investigators had received “voluminous tips” and were interviewing witnesses and analyzing the crime scene.

Boston police and firefighter unions announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to arrests in the bombing.

At a news conference, police and federal agents repeatedly appealed for any video, audio and photos taken by marathon spectators, even images that people might not think are significant.

“There has to be hundreds, if not thousands, of photos and videos” that might help investigators, state police Col. Timothy Alben said.

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said investigators also gathered a large number of surveillance tapes from businesses in the area and intend to go through the videos frame by frame.

“This is probably one of the most photographed areas in the country yesterday,” he said.

FBI agents searched an apartment in the Boston suburb of Revere overnight, and investigators were seen leaving with brown paper bags, plastic trash bags and a duffel bag. But it was unclear whether the tenant had anything to do with the attack.

A law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release details of the investigation said the man had been tackled by a bystander, then police, as he ran from the scene of the explosions.

But the official said it is possible the man was simply running away to protect himself from the blast, as many others did.

At least 17 people were critically injured, police said. At least eight children were being treated at hospitals. In addition to losing limbs, victims suffered broken bones, shrapnel wounds and ruptured eardrums.

Dr. Stephen Epstein of the emergency medicine department at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center said he saw an X-ray of one victim’s leg that had “what appears to be small, uniform, round objects throughout it — similar in the appearance to BBs.”

Eight-year-old Martin Richard was among the dead, said Rep. Stephen Lynch, a family friend. The boy’s mother, Denise, and 6-year-old sister, Jane, were badly injured. His brother and father were also watching the race but were not hurt.

A candle burned on the stoop of the family’s single-family home in the city’s Dorchester section Tuesday, and the word “Peace” was written in chalk on the front walk.

Neighbour Betty Delorey said Martin loved to climb neighbourhood trees and hop the fence outside his home.

Also killed was Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old restaurant manager from Medford, Mass., who had gone with her best friend to take a picture of the friend’s boyfriend crossing the finish line.

William Campbell said his daughter was “very caring, very loving person, and was Daddy’s little girl.”

About 23,000 runners participated in this year’s Boston Marathon. Nearly two-thirds of them had crossed the finish line by the time the bombs exploded, but thousands more were still completing the course, and the area around the finish line was crowded with athletes and friends and relatives cheering them on.

Davis, the police commissioner, said that two security sweeps of the route had been conducted before the blasts.

Patriots’ Day commemorates the opening shots of the American Revolution, at Concord and Lexington in 1775.

Richard Barrett, the former U.N. co-ordinator for an al-Qaida and Taliban monitoring team who has also worked for British intelligence, said the relatively small size of the devices in Boston and the timing of the blasts suggest a domestic attack rather than an al-Qaida-inspired one.

“This happened on Patriots’ Day — it is also the day Americans are supposed to have their taxes in — and Boston is quite a symbolic city,” said Barrett, now senior director at the Qatar International Academy for Security Studies.

••••

(Earlier story)

BOSTON (AP) — Police on Tuesday identified a 29-year-old restaurant manager as the second of three people killed in the bombing at the Boston Marathon.

Krystle Campbell had gone with her best friend to take a picture of the friend’s boyfriend crossing the finish line on Monday afternoon.

An 8-year-old, Martin Richard of Boston, also died. Police have not yet identified the third victim.

Richard was at the finish line watching the race with his family, according to U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, a friend of the family for 25 years. The boy’s mother, Denise, and 6-year-old sister, Jane, were badly injured. His brother and father were also watching the race but were not hurt.

They had gone to get ice cream, then returned to the area near the finish line. Neighbor Jack Cunningham said he believed Martin’s father didn’t run in Monday’s race because of an injury , and Richard wasn’t listed as a runner on the marathon’s website.

“They were looking in the crowd as the runners were coming to see if they could identify some of their friends when the bomb hit,” Lynch said.

On Tuesday morning, candle burned on the stoop of the family’s single-family home, and “peace” was written in chalk on the front walkway. A child’s bicycle helmet lay overturned on the front lawn.

“What a gift. To know him was to love him,” said longtime friend Judy Tuttle, who talked of sitting at the dining room table having tea with Denise Richard while Martin did his homework. “He had that million-dollar smile and you never knew what was going to come out of him. Denise is the most spectacular mother that you’ve ever met and Bill is a pillar of the community. It doesn’t get any better than these people.”

Neighbor Betty Delorey, 80, said Martin loved to climb the neighbourhood trees and hop the fence outside his home.

“I can just remember his mother calling him, ’Martin!’ if he was doing something wrong,” she said. “Just a vivacious little kid.”

Delorey had a photo showing Martin dressed as the character Woody from the Toy Story films, wearing a cowboy hat, a sheriff’s badge, jeans and a big smile. His sister, Jane, was at his right dressed as Woody’s friend, Jesse. Their older brother, Henry, was to their left, dressed as Harry Potter.

“I’m sick to my stomach,” she said. “It’s hard to say anything really.”

The children’s father, Bill, is the director of a local community group, and an avid runner and bicyclist.

Denise Richard works as a librarian at the Neighborhood House Charter School, which both Martin and Jane attended.

Counsellors were being made available Tuesday to staff and students, said Bodi Luse, a school spokeswoman.

“We are devastated,” she said. “The whole community is devastated.”

 

 

•••

(Earlier story)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A person briefed on the Boston Marathon investigation says the explosives were in 6-litre pressure cookers and placed in black duffel bags.

The person says the explosives were placed on the ground and contained shards of metal, nails and ball bearings. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was continuing.

The person says law enforcement officials have some of the bomb components but did not yet know what was used to set off the explosives.

President Barack Obama said Tuesday the bombings were an act of terrorism but investigators do not know if they were carried out by an international or domestic organization, or perhaps by a “malevolent individual.”

 

 

•••

(Earlier story)

Authorities seek images of Boston Marathon bombing as FBI vows to go to ’ends of the Earth’

BOSTON (AP) — Investigators appealed to the public Tuesday for amateur video and photos that might yield clues to the Boston Marathon bombing as the chief FBI agent in Boston vowed “we will go to the ends of the Earth” to find whoever carried out the deadly attack.

Two bombs blew up seconds apart Monday at the finish line of one of the world’s most storied races, tearing off limbs and leaving the streets spattered with blood and strewn with broken glass. Three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 170 were wounded.

A doctor treating the wounded said one of the victims was maimed by what looked like ball bearings or BBs.

Federal investigators said no one had claimed responsibility for the bombings, which took place on one of the city’s biggest civic holidays, Patriots Day. But the blasts raised the spectre of another terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

President Barack Obama said the bombings were an act of terrorism, but investigators do not know if they were carried out by an international organization, domestic group or a “malevolent individual.” He said, “the American people refuse to be terrorized.”

On Capitol Hill, Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel called the bombings “a cruel act of terror” and said “a thorough investigation will have to determine whether it was planned or carried out by a terror group, foreign or domestic.”

Across the U.S., from Washington to Los Angeles, police tightened security, monitoring landmarks, government buildings, transit hubs and sporting events.

“We will go to the ends of the Earth to identify the subject or subjects who are responsible for this despicable crime, and we will do everything we can to bring them to justice,” said Richard DesLauriers, FBI agent in charge in Boston.

He said investigators had received “voluminous tips” and were interviewing witnesses and analyzing the crime scene.

Gov. Deval Patrick said that contrary to earlier reports, no unexploded bombs were found. He said the only explosives were the ones that went off.

FBI agents searched a home in the suburb of Revere overnight. Authorities gave no details. But investigators were seen leaving a building there early Tuesday carrying brown paper bags, plastic trash bags and a duffel bag.

At a news conference, police and federal agents repeatedly appealed for any video, audio and photos taken by marathon spectators, even images that people might not think are significant.

“There has to be hundreds, if not thousands, of photos and videos” that might help investigators, state police Col. Timothy Alben said.

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said investigators also gathered a large number of surveillance tapes from businesses in the area and intend to go through the video frame by frame.

“This is probably one of the most photographed areas in the country yesterday,” he said.

Investigators refused to give any specifics on the bombs and say, for example, where they might have been hidden or whether they were packed with shrapnel for maximum carnage, as is often the case in terror bombings overseas.

But Dr. Stephen Epstein of the emergency medicine department at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center said he saw an X-ray of one victim’s leg that had “what appears to be small, uniform, round objects throughout it — similar in the appearance to BBs.”

The fiery explosions took place about 10 seconds and about 100 yards apart, knocking spectators and at least one runner off their feet, shattering windows and sending columns of smoke rising over the street.

Roupen Bastajian, a state trooper from Smithfield, R.I., had just finished the race when he heard the explosions.

“I started running toward the blast. And there were people all over the floor,” he said. “We started grabbing tourniquets and started tying legs. A lot of people amputated.”

At least 17 people were critically injured, police said. At least eight children were being treated at hospitals. In addition to losing limbs, victims suffered broken bones, shrapnel wounds and ruptured eardrums.

At Massachusetts General Hospital, Alasdair Conn, chief of emergency services, said: “This is something I’ve never seen in my 25 years here ... this amount of carnage in the civilian population. This is what we expect from war.”

Eight-year-old Martin Richard was among the dead, said U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, a family friend. The boy’s mother, Denise, and 6-year-old sister, Jane, were badly injured. His brother and father were also watching the race but were not hurt.

A candle burned on the stoop of the family’s single-family home in the city’s Dorchester section Tuesday, and the word “Peace” was written in chalk on the front walk.

Neighbour Betty Delorey said Martin loved to climb the neighbourhood trees, and hop the fence outside his home.

Tim Davey of Richmond, Va., was with his wife, Lisa, and children near a medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners when the injured began arriving. “They just started bringing people in with no limbs,” he said.

“Most everybody was conscious,” Lisa Davey said. “They were very dazed.”

The Boston Marathon is one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious races and about 23,000 runners participated. Most of them had crossed the finish line by the time the bombs exploded, but thousands more were still completing the course.

The attack may have been timed for maximum bloodshed: The four-hour mark is typically a crowded time near the finish line because of the slow-but-steady recreational runners completing the race and because of all the friends and relatives clustered around to cheer them on.

Davis, the police commissioner, said authorities had received “no specific intelligence that anything was going to happen” at the race. On Tuesday, he said that two security sweeps of the route had been conducted before the marathon.

The race winds up near Copley Square, not far from the landmark Prudential Center and the Boston Public Library. It is held on Patriots Day, which commemorates the first battles of the American Revolution, at Concord and Lexington in 1775.

Richard Barrett, the former U.N. co-ordinator for an al-Qaida and Taliban monitoring team who has also worked for British intelligence, said the relatively small size of the devices in Boston and the timing of the blasts suggest a domestic attack rather than an al-Qaida-inspired one.

“This happened on Patriots Day — it is also the day Americans are supposed to have their taxes in — and Boston is quite a symbolic city,” said Barrett, now senior director at the Qatar International Academy for Security Studies.

The Pakistani Taliban, which has threatened attacks in the United States because of its support for the Pakistani government, on Tuesday denied any role in the bombings.

A woman who was a few feet from the second bomb, Brighid Wall, 35, of Duxbury, said that when it exploded, runners and spectators froze, unsure of what to do. Her husband threw their children to the ground, lay on top of them and another man lay on top of them and said, “Don’t get up, don’t get up.”

After a minute or so without another explosion, Wall said, she and her family headed to a Starbucks and out the back door through an alley. Around them, the windows of the bars and restaurants were blown out.

She said she saw six to eight people bleeding profusely, including one man who was kneeling, dazed, with blood trickling down his head. Another person was on the ground covered in blood and not moving.

“My ears are zinging. Their ears are zinging,” Wall said. “It was so forceful. It knocked us to the ground.”

 

 

•••

(Earlier story)

BOSTON — The FBI’s investigation into the bombings at the Boston Marathon was in full swing Tuesday, with authorities serving a warrant on a suburban Boston home and appealing for any private video, audio and still images of the blasts that killed three and wounded 140.

Officials said no one had claimed responsibility for the bombings on one of the city’s most famous civic holidays, Patriots Day. But the blasts that left the streets spattered with blood and glass raised fears of a terrorist attack.

President Barack Obama was careful not to use the words “terror” or “terrorism” as he spoke at the White House Monday after the deadly bombings, but an administration official said the bombings were being treated as an act of terrorism.

“We will find out who did this. We’ll find out why they did this,” the president said. “Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice.”

A European security official said Tuesday initial evidence indicates that the attacks were not the work of suicide bombers.

“So far, investigators believe it was not the work of suicide bombers, but it is still too early to rule it out completely,” said the official, who spoke from the United States on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the U.S. investigation.

The Pakistani Taliban, which has threatened attacks in the United States because of its support for the Pakistani government, on Tuesday denied any role in the marathon bombings.

The fiery explosions took place about 10 seconds and about 100 yards (90 metres) apart, knocking spectators and at least one runner off their feet, shattering windows and sending dense plumes of smoke rising over the street and through the fluttering national flags lining the route.

Blood stained the pavement, and huge shards were missing from window panes as high as three stories. Victims suffered broken bones, shrapnel wounds and ruptured eardrums.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said Tuesday no unexploded bombs were found at the Boston Marathon. He said the only explosives were the ones that went off Monday.

Roupen Bastajian, a state trooper from Smithfield, Rhode Island, had just finished the race when he heard the explosions.

“I started running toward the blast. And there were people all over the floor,” he said. “We started grabbing tourniquets and started tying legs. A lot of people amputated. ... At least 25 to 30 people have at least one leg missing, or an ankle missing, or two legs missing.”

At Massachusetts General Hospital, Alasdair Conn, chief of emergency services, said: “This is something I’ve never seen in my 25 years here ... this amount of carnage in the civilian population. This is what we expect from war.”

WBZ-TV reported late Monday that law enforcement officers were searching an apartment in the Boston suburb of Revere. Massachusetts State Police confirmed that a search warrant related to the investigation into the explosions was served Monday night in Revere, but provided no further details.

Some investigators were seen leaving the Revere house early Tuesday carrying brown paper bags, plastic trash bags and a duffel bag.

Investigators refused to give any specifics on the bombs and say, for example, where they might have been hidden or whether they were packed with shrapnel for maximum carnage, as is often the case in terror bombings overseas.

But Dr. Stephen Epstein of the emergency medicine department at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, said he saw an X-ray of one victim’s leg that had “what appears to be small, uniform, round objects throughout it — similar in the appearance to BBs.” He said it remained to be determined what exactly the objects were.

Police said three people were killed. Eight-year-old Martin Richard was among the dead, according to a person who talked to a friend of the family and spoke on condition of anonymity. The person said the boy’s mother and sister were also injured.

Hospitals reported at least 144 people injured, at least 17 of them critically. At least eight children were being treated at hospitals.

Tim Davey of Richmond, Virginia, was with his wife, Lisa, and children near a medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners when the injured began arriving. “They just started bringing people in with no limbs,” he said.

“Most everybody was conscious,” Lisa Davey said. “They were very dazed.”

The Boston Marathon is one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious races and about 23,000 runners participated. The race honoured the victims of the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting with a special mile marker in Monday’s race.

Boston Athletic Association president Joanne Flaminio previously said there was “special significance” to the fact that the race is 26.2 miles long and 26 people died at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

One of the city’s biggest annual events, the race winds up near Copley Square, not far from the landmark Prudential Center and the Boston Public Library. It is held on Patriots Day, which commemorates the first battles of the American Revolution, at Concord and Lexington in 1775.

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis asked people to stay indoors or go back to their hotel rooms and avoid crowds as bomb squads methodically checked parcels and bags left along the race route. He said investigators didn’t know whether the bombs were hidden in mailboxes or trash cans.

He said authorities had received “no specific intelligence that anything was going to happen” at the race.

The Federal Aviation Administration barred low-flying aircraft within 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometres) of the site.

“We still don’t know who did this or why,” Obama said at the White House, adding, “Make no mistake: We will get to the bottom of this.”

With scant official information to guide them, members of Congress said there was little or no doubt it was an act of terrorism.

“We just don’t know whether it’s foreign or domestic,” said Republican Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

A few miles away from the finish line and around the same time, a fire broke out at the John F. Kennedy Library. The police commissioner said that it may have been caused by an incendiary device but that it was not clear whether it was related to the bombings.

The first explosion occurred on the north side of Boylston Street, just before the finish line, and some people initially thought it was a celebratory cannon blast.

When the second bomb went off, spectators’ cheers turned to screams. As sirens blared, emergency workers and National Guardsmen who had been assigned to the race for crowd control began climbing over and tearing down temporary fences to get to the blast site.

The bombings occurred about four hours into the race and two hours after the men’s winner crossed the finish line. By that point, more than 17,000 of the athletes had finished the marathon, but thousands more were still running.

The attack may have been timed for maximum carnage: The four-hour mark is typically a crowded time near the finish line because of the slow-but-steady recreational runners completing the race and because of all the friends and relatives clustered around to cheer them on.

Runners in the medical tent for treatment of dehydration or other race-related ills were pushed out to make room for victims of the bombing.

A woman who was a few feet from the second bomb, Brighid Wall, 35, said that when it exploded, runners and spectators froze, unsure of what to do. Her husband threw their children to the ground, lay on top of them and another man lay on top of them and said, “Don’t get up, don’t get up.”

After a minute or so without another explosion, Wall said, she and her family headed to a Starbucks and out the back door through an alley. Around them, the windows of the bars and restaurants were blown out.

She said she saw six to eight people bleeding profusely, including one man who was kneeling, dazed, with blood trickling down his head. Another person was on the ground covered in blood and not moving.

“My ears are zinging. Their ears are zinging,” Wall said. “It was so forceful. It knocked us to the ground.”

•••

(Earlier story)

Canadians returning home from Boston Marathon carnage

THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO — Canadians who escaped two deadly explosions at the Boston Marathon are trickling home as the gruesome attack raises security concerns around the world.

More than 2,000 Canadians were registered for the storied race, but Ottawa said late Monday it appeared none were reported among the three killed and more than 140 hurt.

Foreign Affairs officials said they would continue to check with their counterparts south of the border to confirm that no Canadians were directly caught in the blasts.

Meanwhile, those who witnessed the carnage swapped stories of survival in an effort to cope with the shock.

Rob Campbell, who was among a group of Canadian runners who finished the marathon an hour before the explosions, said he met an Oklahoma man who ran right through the chaos.

“He just kept going, went to the centre of the road and finished the race because he thought there might be bombs going off on the right side of the road also,” he said. “He had a pretty fascinating story.”

Campbell said local residents were enraged by what happened.

“They’re taking this thing really serious,” he said. “They’re not expecting this sort of thing to happen.”

Campbell said he was planning to drive back home to Toronto with a friend on Tuesday and was bracing for major delays on the roads.

“I would expect the troopers are probably going to choke down the traffic,” he said. “I suspect they’re going to investigate every car leaving Boston at this stage.”

Meanwhile, Melinda Campbell, who planned to fly back to Toronto Tuesday night, said she wasn’t changing her travel plans but was prepared to stay in Boston longer if she had to.

“I think the airport might be a bit of a zoo,” she said. “I might end up just having to stay because there’s no flights to get out.”

There was no indication from U.S. authorities as to who may have carried out the bombings and police said no arrests had been made. Officials also said there had been no claims of responsibility.

Police in some major U.S. cities were monitoring landmarks, government buildings, transit hubs and sporting events.

At the Detroit Windsor Tunnel, where thousands cross the border from Ontario to Michigan daily, Tunnel President Neal Belitsky says that “all staff are sensitive to the incident in Boston.”

While security measures aren’t being discussed, officials say they’re closely following events.

 

•••

(Earlier story)

BOSTON — FBI agents searched a suburban Boston apartment overnight and appealed to the public for amateur video and photos that might yield clues to who carried out the Boston Marathon bombing, while a doctor treating the wounded said one of the victims was maimed by what looked like ball bearings or BBs.

Two bombs blew up seconds apart Monday at the finish line of one of the world’s most storied races, tearing off limbs and leaving the streets spattered with blood and strewn with broken glass. Three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 140 were wounded.

To see a map showing the area of the explosions, CLICK HERE

Federal investigators said no one had claimed responsibility for the bombings on one of the city’s biggest civic holidays, Patriots Day. But the blasts raised the spectre of another terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

President Barack Obama was careful not to use the words “terror” or “terrorism” as he spoke at the White House on Monday, but an administration official said the bombings were being treated as an act of terrorism.

“We will find out who did this. We’ll find out why they did this,” the president said. “Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice.”

Across the U.S., from Washington to Los Angeles, police tightened security, monitoring landmarks, government buildings, transit hubs and sporting events.

The FBI took charge of the investigation, converging on a home in the suburb of Revere on Monday night and appealing for any video, audio and photos taken by marathon spectators. Authorities gave no details on the search. Investigators were seen leaving a building there early Tuesday carrying brown paper bags, plastic trash bags and a duffel bag.

Investigators refused to give any specifics on the bombs and say, for example, where they might have been hidden or whether they were packed with shrapnel for maximum carnage, as is often the case in terror bombings overseas.

But Dr. Stephen Epstein of the emergency medicine department at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center said he saw an X-ray of one victim’s leg that had “what appears to be small, uniform, round objects throughout it — similar in the appearance to BBs.” He said it remained to be determined what exactly the objects were.

A European security official said Tuesday initial evidence indicates that the attacks were not the work of suicide bombers.

“So far, investigators believe it was not the work of suicide bombers, but it is still too early to rule it out completely,” said the official, who spoke from the United States on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the U.S. investigation.

The Pakistani Taliban, which has threatened attacks in the United States because of its support for the Pakistani government, on Tuesday denied any role in the bombings.

The fiery explosions took place about 10 seconds and about 100 yards apart, knocking spectators and at least one runner off their feet, shattering windows and sending columns of smoke rising over the street. Victims lost limbs and suffered broken bones, shrapnel wounds and ruptured eardrums.

Roupen Bastajian, a state trooper from Smithfield, R.I., had just finished the race when he heard the explosions.

“I started running toward the blast. And there were people all over the floor,” he said. “We started grabbing tourniquets and started tying legs. A lot of people amputated. ... At least 25 to 30 people have at least one leg missing, or an ankle missing, or two legs missing.”

At Massachusetts General Hospital, Alasdair Conn, chief of emergency services, said: “This is something I’ve never seen in my 25 years here ... this amount of carnage in the civilian population. This is what we expect from war.”

As many as two unexploded bombs were found near the end of the 26.2-mile course as part of what appeared to be a well-co-ordinated attack, but they were safely disarmed, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation.

An 8-year-old boy was among the dead, according to a person who talked to a friend of the family and spoke on condition of anonymity. The person said the boy’s mother and sister were also injured as they waited for his father to finish the race.

Hospitals reported at least 144 people injured, at least 17 of them critically. At least eight children were being treated at hospitals.

Tim Davey of Richmond, Va., was with his wife, Lisa, and children near a medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners when the injured began arriving. “They just started bringing people in with no limbs,” he said.

“Most everybody was conscious,” Lisa Davey said. “They were very dazed.”

The Boston Marathon is one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious races and about 23,000 runners participated. Most of them had crossed the finish line by the time the bombs exploded, but thousands more were still completing the course.

The attack may have been timed for maximum bloodshed: The four-hour mark is typically a crowded time near the finish line because of the slow-but-steady recreational runners completing the race and because of all the friends and relatives clustered around to cheer them on.

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said authorities had received “no specific intelligence that anything was going to happen” at the race.

“We still don’t know who did this or why,” Obama said at the White House, adding, “Make no mistake: We will get to the bottom of this.”

With scant official information to guide them, members of Congress said there was little or no doubt it was an act of terrorism.

“We just don’t know whether it’s foreign or domestic,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

A few miles away from the finish line and around the same time, a fire broke out at the John F. Kennedy Library. The police commissioner said that it may have been caused by an incendiary device but that it was not clear whether it was related to the bombings.

The race winds up near Copley Square, not far from the landmark Prudential Center and the Boston Public Library. It is held on Patriots Day, which commemorates the first battles of the American Revolution, at Concord and Lexington in 1775.

The first explosion occurred on the north side of Boylston Street, just before the finish line, and some people initially thought it was a celebratory cannon blast. When the second bomb went off, spectators’ cheers turned to screams.

Runners in the medical tent for treatment of dehydration or other race-related ills were pushed out to make room for victims of the bombing.

A woman who was a few feet from the second bomb, Brighid Wall, 35, of Duxbury, said that when it exploded, runners and spectators froze, unsure of what to do. Her husband threw their children to the ground, lay on top of them and another man lay on top of them and said, “Don’t get up, don’t get up.”

After a minute or so without another explosion, Wall said, she and her family headed to a Starbucks and out the back door through an alley. Around them, the windows of the bars and restaurants were blown out.

She said she saw six to eight people bleeding profusely, including one man who was kneeling, dazed, with blood trickling down his head. Another person was on the ground covered in blood and not moving.

“My ears are zinging. Their ears are zinging,” Wall said. “It was so forceful. It knocked us to the ground.”

•••

(Earlier story)

Newfoundland runners recount Boston Marathon explosions

By Robin Short

The Telegram

Shawn Stratton slumped in his seat Monday afternoon in a lively Boylston Street restaurant, exhausted yet, at the same time, exhilarated.

The St. John’s man had just pounded 26 miles of Beantown pavement, and the joy and sense of achievement of completing the Boston Marathon was interrupted by the pain of having just finished racing for more than three hours.

Stratton was with friends at Max Brenner’s Chocolate Shop, just a couple of hundred metres from the marathon’s finish line, a trendy haunt where he’d been sure to make reservations almost two months ago.

“They make the best hot chocolate,” he reports.

And then, shortly after 3 o’clock eastern time, the laughter and cheer inside Max Brenner’s was shattered by a loud blast Stratton figures was 100 metres away, down Boylston Street.

“You could hear it more than you could feel it,” Stratton was saying over a friend’s phone Monday evening.

“It was just a loud blast. We thought it was one of those monster TV screens they have on the street showing the race had toppled over.

“And then, about 15 seconds later, we heard the second one. It was louder. And then the smell of sulphur was in the air, along with the smoke.

“Then things got out of hand.”

 

The pair of bomb blasts, which by last reports Monday had accounted for three deaths and reports of about 140 injured at the marathon in Boston, turned the restaurant just up the street where Stratton and friends had hoped to reward their taste buds into a scene of chaos.

“A lot of people started panicking,” he said. “A waiter hopped over the bar and knocked over the forks and knives and glasses and there was the crash of that. People were screaming.

“This was serious.”

Stratton, a St. John’s life coach and motivational speaker who has run more than 40 triathlons and a couple of Iron Man races, and his friends made their way to the rear exit, where others had the same plan.

Chairs stacked up along the wall provided an obstacle and patrons, in their haste, were tripping to the floor.

“It was chaos,” he said. “I thought for a moment people might get trampled.”

Eventually, Stratton and the others made it to a back alley where they were met by more people trying to escape the confusion.

“There were two blasts, and no one knew if there was going to be a third or a fourth. Everyone, myself included, was just trying to get out of there.”

On Boylston Street Stratton said there was a lot of emotion. Others closer to the blast were relaying stories of people with parts of their clothes blown off. Some were missing limbs. On parts of Boyston Street, blood pooled on the asphalt.

“We just wanted to get away,” he said. “But I’d just run a marathon. I couldn’t walk very fast.”

Stratton is staying with friends in Norwell, Mass., just south of Boston. Finding a cab was out of the question, so Stratton and his friends walked to Rowes Wharf near the city’s North End and then caught a ferry to Hingham, Mass.

“We’re all still in shock,” he said. “We hadn’t seen any media reports and the only news we were getting was word-of-mouth.

“I mean, you start the day with anticipation, you run the Boston Marathon and it’s one of the most joyful moments in your life and then this happens.

“I’m happy I’m okay, obviously, but it’s going to take some time before I process all this.”

 

rshort@thetelegram.com

 

 

 

Organizations: Boston Marathon, Chocolate Shop

Geographic location: Boylston Street, Newfoundland, Beantown Boston Boyston Street Norwell, Mass. North End Hingham, Mass.

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Recent comments

  • Marc
    April 16, 2013 - 15:22

    We have to remember that for every one person running from the area, there were hundreds of people rushing in to help.

  • Chris
    April 16, 2013 - 14:10

    You self-righteous clowns don't get sarcasm, do you?

  • As surprised
    April 16, 2013 - 13:46

    I agree 100%. Thankfully the Telegram has since updated the story a number of times. I woke up this morning to hear about 3 dead and 145 injured, I go to the telegram website, click on the story and read where to find the best hot chocolate in Boston! At least their follow up gave this significant news story the respect it deserves.

  • Gail
    April 16, 2013 - 10:19

    This story has nothing to do with a runner having trouble finding a cab in the middle of all the chaos. This story is about the chaos and not knowing what if anything else is going to happen at that particular moment in time. This is one event that this runner, along with people all over the world, will be questioning for a long time to come.

  • Elizabeth
    April 16, 2013 - 10:12

    I think Chris means that had there not been a Newfoundlander there The Telegram would never have run a story on it. I agree. I mean, come on!!! This "life coach" was sounding more upset at having his "rush" at finishing the marathon ruined and missing out on his cup of hot chocolate. In this article I felt no empathy for the victims whatsoever! “We just wanted to get away,” he said. “But I’d just run a marathon. I couldn’t walk very fast.” and “I mean, you start the day with anticipation, you run the Boston Marathon and it’s one of the most joyful moments in your life and then this happens." Come on telegram...we don't need to read drivel from a fellow newfie just because he was there, we want to read the facts and some good professional reporting. Thank you!

  • karin
    April 16, 2013 - 08:48

    Really Chris??? How awful, you could think such a cold and cynical thing???? "A non-story"?????? With or without the presence of newfoundlanders, what happened in Boston yesterday was a horrible, senseless act...........and your comment proves that there are senseless people everywhere!!! SHAME!!

  • Ryan Summers
    April 16, 2013 - 08:41

    The article includes photos of a man with his legs blown off and they interview a runner who had trouble finding a cab. Poor show Telegram.

  • Chris
    April 16, 2013 - 07:26

    "It was chaos" It's a good thing there were Newfoundlanders there, otherwise the whole thing would have been a non-story.

    • Come on
      April 16, 2013 - 08:17

      Chris have some sympathy. people died.

    • Robert
      April 16, 2013 - 08:47

      It is most important that Mr. Stratton express his emotions regarding his own trauma in order for his healing to begin. Your negative spin does nothing to help!

    • M&M
      April 16, 2013 - 09:21

      I believe the telegram would have mentioned it. If not online than in the full edition. It would not have been classified under "local" if not for the Newfoundlanders and made available online, probably...