Boston police warn: Stay indoors

2013-04-15 23:54
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Boston Marathon blasts

Two explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon has killed two people and left more than 100 wounded.

Boston - Boston police commissioner Ed Davis on Monday urged the city's residents to stay indoors, and not to gather in groups, as he warned of an ongoing event, after two explosions at the Boston Marathon.

There were simultaneous blasts at the finish line of the marathon, leaving two people dead and more than 100 injured.

Later, according to Davis, there was a third "incident" in the city at the John F Kennedy library, though there were no known injuries.

Davis later said that the incident at the library was related to a mechanical problem, and there was no connection to the blasts.

He urged people to stay indoors and not congregate in large groups, referring to the situation as an "ongoing event".

A law enforcement official said mobile phone towers had been shut down in the Boston area to prevent any potential remote detonations of explosives.

The Federal Aviation Authority also declared a no-fly zone over the marathon explosion site.

According to the Boston Marathon's Facebook page, bombs caused the two explosions and that organisers were working with authorities to determine what happened.

Competitors and race volunteers were crying as they fled the chaos. Bloodied spectators were being carried to the medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners. Authorities went onto the course to carry away the injured while stragglers in the 42km race were rerouted away from the smoking site.

A third explosion was heard about an hour after the first two after authorities warned spectators to expect a loud noise from a water cannon that police apparently were using to destroy one of the devices.

Authorities have not identified what caused the explosives that erupted at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Person of interest

Roupen Bastajian, a 35-year-old state trooper from Rhode Island, had just finished the race when they put the heat blanket wrap on him and he heard the first blast.

"I started running toward the blast. And there were people all over the floor," he said.

"We started grabbing tourniquets and started tying legs. A lot of people amputated... At least 25 to 30 people have at least one leg missing, or an ankle missing, or two legs missing."

A Boston police officer was wheeled from the course with a leg injury that was bleeding.

"There are a lot of people down," said one man, whose bib No. 17528 identified him as Frank Deruyter of North Carolina. He was not injured, but marathon workers were carrying one woman, who did not appear to be a runner, to the medical area as blood gushed from her leg.

Smoke rose from the blasts, fluttering through the national flags lining the route of the world's oldest and most prestigious marathon. TV helicopter footage showed blood staining the pavement in the popular shopping and tourist area known as the Back Bay.

"There are people who are really, really bloody," said Laura McLean, a runner from Toronto, who was in the medical tent being treated for dehydration when she was pulled out to make room for victims of the explosions.

"They were pulling them into the medical tent."

Runners who had not finished the race were diverted straight down Commonwealth Avenue and into a family meeting area, according to an emergency plan that had been in place.

The White House said President Barack Obama has been notified about the explosions. The administration said it is in contact with state and local authorities and the president directed his administration to provide whatever assistance is necessary in the investigation and response.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano directed her agency to provide "whatever assistance" necessary.

The FBI, which was treating the bombing as a terrorist investigation, was analysing video from several area surveillance cameras, it said.

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