Runners React, FBI Holds Press Conference

| April 16, 2013
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Photograph courtesy of REUTERS/Dan Lampariello

It’s a scene of carnage at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.   Officials said two bombs that exploded near the end of the race were about 100 yards and 10 seconds apart.

The shock waves brought bystanders to the ground, shattered windows and sent plumes of smoke into the air.

Tom Meagher, a Boston Marathon official, describes what he saw when the first bomb detonated.

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Witnesses like Will Ritter also paint a horrific picture.

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The elderly man shown in video footage being literally blown off his feet near the finish line of the Boston Marathon said he escaped with only a scratch on his leg.  Bill Iffrig, 78, told CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live” that he felt the explosion alongside him as he ran toward the finish.

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Other witnesses describe seeing a massive explosion with thick white smoke billowing into the air near the finish line.  Josh Matthews describes what he heard.

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A woman named Liz described the chaos after the two explosions.  She said she was standing across from the finish line when the explosions happened and said people started trampling each other trying to get away from the blasts.

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Another Boston Marathon runner is describing what she saw when a bomb detonated close to the finish line on Monday.  Jennifer Treacy said her immediate reaction was to seek shelter and she went into a nearby building.

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The president of the “USA Today” sports media group, Tom Beusse, finished the Boston Marathon about three minutes before the deadly blasts.  Beusse said he immediately knew something was wrong.

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A husband and wife who were watching their friend running in the marathon are recovering in a hospital.  The couple told NBC’s “Today” show they were hit by shrapnel from the blast.

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Dozens of runners from the Show Me State participated in the Boston Marathon.  To view a list of those athletes click here.

The scene of Monday’s massacre is being described as the most complex crime scene Boston police have ever seen.  Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said Tuesday morning that they’re processing the scene under the guidance of the FBI and ATF. He added that the National Guard is securing the scene, and that the cordon has been reduced from 15 blocks to 12.

Seventeen people remain in critical condition. Davis remarked that the latest assessment is more than 170 people wounded in the blasts.  Three people are dead.  A doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital said nails and pellets are being removed from the bodies of victims. Dr. George Velmahos said the bombs inflicted severe trauma in some victims, resulting in amputations. He added that all the victims being treated at Mass Gen are alive and stable.

A massive investigation is in full swing.  Federal agents and Boston police swarmed an apartment complex in Revere, Massachusetts late Monday night.  Several bags of items were taken out of the apartment, but police have been tight-lipped on the search and seizure.

New details were released during an 8:30 a.m. news conference on Tuesday.  The FBI agent in charge of the investigation said the agency’s mission is clear: to bring those responsible to justice. Special Agent-in-Charge Richard DesLauriers said there’s still an active investigation.  He added that Bostonians should expect to see law enforcement personnel in action in the greater Boston area.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said no unexploded bombs have been found at the scene.  In the press conference, Patrick said Bostonians should expect security to remain high.

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Mayor Tom Menino remarked that Boston is a close-knit community, and the city mourns for the three people killed in the attack.

Many high profile officials responded in the wake of the bombings.  In remarks Monday night, President Obama cautioned against jumping to conclusions about who was responsible or why.  He vowed to “find out who did this” and “hold them accountable.”  Obama added that those responsible will face the “full weight of justice.”  Obama and authorities stopped short of calling it a terror attack.

China offered its condolences and condemned the bombings.  A foreign ministry spokeswoman told reporters that China strongly condemns and is firmly opposed to any attack aimed at common people.

Pope Francis issued a message of hope to the Archdiocese of Boston on Tuesday morning.  In a telegram to Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the Vatican’s Secretary of State said Pope Francis was “grieved” by the loss of life and injuries caused by what he called a “senseless tragedy.”  The Pope also urges all Bostonians to be, quote, “united in a resolve not to be overcome by evil.”

Police are urging anyone with pictures or video of the bombing or just the surrounding area at the time of the bombing to turn them over to police.

Metro News Source contributed to this report.

Category: National News, News, State News