A pair of bombs detonated at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing three people and dismembering as many as ten others. Dozens more people sustained additional injuries.
Among the dead? An eight-year-old boy.
“There were two bombs that exploded near the finish line in today’s Boston Marathon,” a statement from race organizers noted. “We are working with law enforcement to understand what exactly has happened.”
What “happened” were two jarring detonations that occurred within seconds of each other shortly before 3:00 p.m. EDT. The first explosion hit in front of the Fairmount Copley Plaza Hotel – while the second blast went off some 50-100 yards away. Two additional undetonated explosive devices were found – and dismantled by police.
The blasts – which were described by witnesses as a pair of loud thunderclaps – turned what should have been a scene of triumph and jubilation into a war zone.
“Somebody’s leg flew by my head,” one spectator told The Boston Herald.
Pictures posted to social media demonstrated the severity of the carnage …
“What the fuck just happened?” witness Tyler Wakstein asked, before posting the following graphic image to his Twitter page.
Good God …
And here’s a clip of the initial explosion …
A few hours before the blasts, Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa and Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo crossed the finish line to claim the men’s and women’s titles in the annual 26.2 mile road race – which was first run in 1897 and attracts some of the world’s premier athletes (as well as crowd of more than 500,000) each year.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is probing the blasts as a likely terrorist attack.
Authorities shut down cell phone service in downtown Boston in the immediate aftermath of the bombings – hoping to prevent any remote detonations. Meanwhile flights out of Boston’s Logan Airport – which was the originating airport for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks – were grounded for several hours in the wake of the bombings.
U.S. President Barack Obama vowed the perpetrators of the attack would feel “the full weight of justice.”
“Make no mistake,” Obama said in televised remarks later in the evening. “We will get to the bottom of this and we will find out who did this. We’ll find out why they did this. We will find out who this is and we will hold them accountable.”