(CHANGING DEATH TOLL, ADDS MORE DETAILS, COMMENTS PRESIDENT OBAMA)
By BosNewsLife Americas Service
BOSTON, USA (BosNewsLife)– At least three people were killed Monday, April 15, and as many as 140 injured when suspected bomb explosions rocked the finish of the Boston Marathon in the United States, officials said, in what appeared to be a coordinated terror attack.
An eight-year-old child was among those killed, American media reported.
The two blasts were sending authorities out on the course to carry away the injured while stragglers in the 26.2-mile race (41 kilometers) were rerouted away from the smoking site, witnesses said.
Soon after, Boston police confirmed a third explosion in the city at the JFK Library, and said they were treating all three incidents as related.
Investigators were reportedly also working to dismantle other bombs found in Boston. There was no immediate official claim of responsibility for the blasts, law enforcement officials said.
Competitors and race volunteers were crying as they fled the chaos of the initial Boston Marathon blasts, reporters noted.
Bloody spectators were seen being carried to the medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners, as the area began resembling a war zone.
It comes at a time when the United States is already on edge following the September 11, 2001, terror attacks against the country.
At the While House, U.S. President Barack Obama said: “The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight, and Michelle and I send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims in the wake of this senseless loss.”
He avoided the word terror, though law enforcement officials have privately already described it this way.
MANY PEOPLE INJURED
“We don’t yet have all the answers but we do know that multiple people have been wounded, some gravely, in explosions at the Boston Marathon,” Obama explained, amid reports that several children were among those injured.
The president added: “We salute all those who assisted in responding so quickly and professionally to this tragedy. We still do not know who did this, or why. And people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts.”
However, “make no mistake” he urged reporters, “We will get to the bottom of this, and we will find out who did this, we will find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice.”
The explosions occurred not long after the first of the race’s nearly 27,000 runners had crossed the finish line, American media reported.
BOSTON RACE HALTED
The race was halted after the explosions, as was subway service into the area, the Voice of America (VOA) said.
A New York City Police Department spokesman said the city has “stepped up security around landmarks in Manhattan,” including near prominent hotels, in response to the blast.
Boston is a major metropolis located in the northeastern U.S.
The marathon is a significant event the city hosts every year, according to Americans familiar with the annual event.
Here are some early pictures and video of the explosions. Explosion at copy twitter.com/Boston_to_a_T/…