According to the Associated Press there were two booms heard near the finish line inside the Fairmount Copley Plaza Hotel. The Boston Globe is reporting dozens of people have been seriously injured.
Early reports speak of at least two dozen injuries, some of them apparently severe. Some reports indicate several victims were missing limbs.
3:31 PM: Boston Police Department confirmed 3 deaths.
Live video from the Boston CBS affiliate:
UPDATE: Some Tweets from the scene:
I saw people’s legs blown off. Horrific. Two explosions. Runners were coming in and saw unspeakable horror.
??? Jackie Bruno (@JackieBrunoNECN) April 15, 2013
??? ABC News (@ABC) April 15, 2013
Update: Fox News is now reporting at least three fatalities at the scene. There are conflicting reports about the investigation of additional explosive devices found in the area. Shortly before 4:00 PM EST, CBS News reported that police conducted the controlled detonation of a third device, which would seem to rule out early thoughts of an accidental explosion, such as a gas main detonating. U.S. News suggests more than one additional device was discovered.
Update: Through its Facebook page, the Boston Marathon confirms: “There were two bombs that exploded near the finish line in today’s Boston Marathon. We are working with law enforcement to understand what exactly has happened.”
Update: The Boston police have corrected the official casualty count to 2 dead, 22 wounded. Law enforcement officials told NBC News that a “small homemade bomb” is the “preliminary cause” of the explosion.
Update: The Associated Press relays word from “a senior U.S. intelligence official” that two more explosive devices have been discovered, and are being dismantled by the authorities. A note of caution: the police are going to take prudent steps to safely eliminate anything they think might be another explosive device, so it may yet be too early to conclude that everything they have detonated was a bomb.
Update: An amazing photo by John Tlumacki of the Boston Globe shows first responders in action after the blast:
Update: A fire was also reported this afternoon at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, but the authorities say this was caused by a mechanical problem, and was not related to the Boston Marathon explosions.
Update: At 4:35 PM, Fox News reported that the police have a suspect connected with the bombings in custody.
Update: According to Fox News, at least ten of the people injured by the explosion have lost limbs. One spectator told the Boston Herald, “Somebody’s leg flew by my head… I gave my belt to stop the blood.” Helpful bystanders and first responders have done some amazing work under perilous conditions to keep the loss of life to a minimum.
Update: The New York Post claims that the bombing suspect is “a Saudi national who suffered shrapnel wounds in today’s blast,” and is being held under guard in a Boston hospital. The Post also lists the casualty count as 12 dead, 50 injured, which is considerably higher than other sources have yet reported.
Update: President Obama’s statement on the bombings, as transcribed by the Boston Globe:
The nation will remember Boston in their prayers tonight. Federal officials are mobilizing resources to help. I’ve notified leaders of both parties; they agree that on days like this, there are no political parties.
Police, firefighters, first responders, and the National Guard responded heroically. We salute all those who responded so quickly and professionally to this tragedy.
We still do not know who did this or why; we still don’t have all the facts. We will get to the bottom of this. We will find who did this and we will find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.
Today is Patriots Day, a day that reflects the freedom Boston has celebrated throughout its history. Boston is a tough and resilient town; so are its people. I’m sure the people of Boston will pull together.
As we get more information, our teams will provide more briefings. We’ll find out who did this, and we’ll hold them accountable.
Interestingly, the President referred to the bombing as a “tragedy” rather than a terrorist attack, even though the FBI has reportedly classified it as such. The Boston police are saying that the person under guard in the hospital is not a “suspect” but rather a “person of interest,” and would make no further statement about his identity.
Update: CNN reports that one of the victims killed by the bombs was an 8-year-old child. CBS News is now confirming the earlier New York Post report that the “person of interest” in custody is a Saudi national. The Associated Press says area hospitals now report at least 105 people injured, 15 of them critically.