Two bombs went off through the crowd at the finish line of Boston Marathon at 2.50pm yesterday (2.50am today, Singapore time). Officials and media outlets reported that the twin explosions killed three people, one of whom was an eight-year-old child, and wounded more than 140.
An official at the White House said that this would be classified as an “act of terror” and would be dealt with accordingly.
United States President Barack Obama vowed to hunt down the person or the organization responsible for the attack on a day when thousands of spectators pack the streets to watch the world famous race.
Footage of the explosion was captured on video, it showed a fireball and smoke rising from behind the cheering spectators and the line of national flags just as a throng of runners were heading for the finish line. The joyful cheers quickly turned into terrified screams and chaos ensued. Spectators started running in all directions away from the blast. One runner staggered and then fell while others kept going for a few more steps. Volunteers in yellow jackets were seen to cup their ears at the sound of the explosion.
Dozens of ambulances, fire trucks and police vehicles converged at the scene after the blasts went off and many spectators could be seen crying and consoling each other.
“A person next to me had his legs blown off at the knee. He was still alive,” Mr Mark Hagopian, owner of the Charlesmark Hotel said. “It was bad, it was fast. There was a gigantic explosion… we felt wind on our faces. Police were saying: ‘Get out, get out, leave, leave there may be more bombs.’”
“I saw people who looked like they had their legs blown off. There was a lot of blood over their legs. Then people were being pushed in wheelchairs,” said Mr Joe Anderson, a fisherman from Pembroke Massachusetts, who had just run the race wielding a large US flag.
The Boston explosions put police on alert in major cities across the United States. Security was stepped up especially in New York City and Washington DC, targeted sites of the Sept 11, 2001 hijacked plane attacks.
Local media reported a third explosion nearby, but police were cited as saying that it was a controlled detonation.
In Washington, Obama told reporters, “Make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this and we will find out who did this.”
“Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice,” he warned.
Investigations are being carried out by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, Justice Department, Homeland Security Department and other agencies. No suspect has been taken into custody yet.
I say have faith in what Obama promised he will do. After all he was the one man who succeeded in capturing Osama Bin Laden when everyone else failed.
Check out the video below to see the horrific devastation of the two bombs.