Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis has described the two horrific explosions at the Boston Marathon as part of “an ongoing event” after a third explosion occurred about an hour ago at the John F. Kennedy Presidential library, five miles southeast of the Boston Marathon finish line in Copley Square.
CNN and NBC are reporting that this third explosion came after the explosions that tore through the Boston Marathon finish line, leaving two people dead and at least 49 injured, according to the most recent figures. On its own Facebook page, the Marathon referred to the blasts as “bombs,” although Comm. Davis, when asked during a recent press conference, stopped just short of characterizing the explosions as an act of terrorism (he added, somewhat wryly, that observers could draw their own conclusions about whether or not the explosions were part of a terror plot). Information is being circulated pretty quickly, and news outlets like CNN, Reuters, and the Boston Globe are frantically live-blogging the event (some of the footage is pretty graphic and, on sites like the Globe's, video loads automatically). This is what we know so far, in light of the press conference update from Comm. Davis at 4:58 pm ET:
- A third explosion happened at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library "about a half-hour ago." The library is about 5 miles southeast of the Boston Marathon finish line.
- Police don't immediately know whether that explosion is related to the two near the Boston Marathon finish line.
- The two blasts near the finish line – along Boylston Street near Copley Square - "happened 50 to 100 yards apart."
- "We're recommending to people that they stay home ... and that they don'r go anyplace and congregate in large crowds."
At approximately 2:50 pm ET today, two explosions hit the Boston Marathon as runners began crossing the finish line. Reuters reported earlier that “two high-profile U.S. law enforcement officials said one or more bombs were responsible for the explosions,” and recounted eyewitness accounts that described the blasts as sounding like “a sonic boom.” According to CNN, “Massachusetts General Hospital said it was treating 19 injured people; Tufts Medical Center reported that some injured were to be treated there as well.” Police are cautioning people to get themselves to safety, and say that it will take a “long time” to clear Copley Square since people attending the marathon dropped bags or “whatever else” they were carrying when the explosions hit, and every discarded bag is being treated with due caution.
Speaking to NBC’s Brian Williams, New York Daily News sportswriter Mike Lupica tried to put the scope of the explosion in perspective for anyone who may not have ever attended the Boston Marathon. He compared Copley Square on marathon day to Times Square in New York on New Year’s Eve, and said that the sight of people fleeing the finish line in terror was “one of the most chilling things” he’s ever seen.
Update: The Boston Globe has updated the injury tally to include at least 125 people. The paper is also reporting that a "person of interest" was being questioned just before 8:00 pm at Brigham and Women's Hospital in connection with the bombing.
Update: The latest from CNN: three people are now reported killed in bomb blasts near the Boston Marathon finish line, and area hospitals are saying that at least 132 people have been injured.
Images via AP.