At Least 3 Dead After Boston Marathon Explosions — Twitter Reacts After News of Blasts at Finish Line

Mayhem descended on the Boston marathon Monday afternoon, when an explosion at the finish line killed at least three and injured more than 130. Here's an account of the first six hours of breaking news from the scene in downtown Boston.

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John Tlumacki / Boston Globe / Getty Images

Police officers draw their weapons after hearing a second explosion near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. See more photos from the scene here.

Mayhem descended on the Boston marathon Monday afternoon, when two explosions at the finish line killed at least three and injured more than 130. What follows below is an account of the first six hours of breaking news from the scene in downtown Boston. TIME is no longer updating this page regularly, but keep visiting TIME.com for the latest dispatches and analyses about the event.

9:00 p.m.: During a press conference with the Boston Police Department, Commissioner Edward Davis confirmed that there are now at least three dead, but denied reports that there is a suspect in custody. FBI’s Richard DesLauriers said that the agency is taking over the investigation of the Boston marathon explosions, calling it a “potential terrorist investigation.”

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (D) said the city of Boston will be open tomorrow, but “it will not be business as usual.” There will be a “heightened law enforcement presence.” There will be random checks of backpacks and parcels on the T.

8:45 p.m.: From a statement published on Facebook by former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown (R): “Like many of you, I was at first horrified. Now I am mad. This was a cowardly act, just cowardly. Our country is at its best when our back is against the wall.”

8:35 p.m.: The NBA has canceled Tuesday’s Boston Celtics and the Indiana Pacers game in Boston, New York Times’ Howard Beck reports.

8:31 p.m.: Hospitals are now reporting that at least 134 people have been injured — and “at least 15 critically,” per the Associated Press.

8:04 p.m.: According to the latest information from the Associated Press, at least 124 people sustained injuries in today’s explosions — ranging from cuts and bruises to amputations. Of those injured, at least 15 are in critical condition.

7:57 p.m.: The FBI has released a statement, saying that federal agents are on-scene assisting the Boston Police Department with their investigation: “The situation remains fluid and it remains too early to establish the cause and motivation.”

7:40 p.m.: TIME’s Jay Newton-Small is on-scene in Boston, and posted this picture of the marathon clock still ticking:

7:35 p.m.: Thanks to donations, the Red Cross reports that it has enough blood to help the victims.

7:26 p.m.: The Boston Globe confirms reports that one of the deceased is an 8-year-old child.

6:56 p.m.: Speaker John Boehner has asked for all flags around the U.S. Capitol to be lowered to half-staff Tuesday out of respect for the incident. The injury toll has now been raised to more than 100. CNN is reporting that Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said this evening they had no intelligence on this before the attack.

6:36 p.m.: While President Obama did not use the word “terror” in his address this evening, a White House official tells TIME’s Zeke J. Miller that they are investigating it as an “act of terror.”

“Any event with multiple explosive devices — as this appears to be — is clearly an act of terror, and will be approached as an act of terror. However, we don’t yet know who carried out this attack, and a thorough investigation will have to determine whether it was planned and carried out by a terrorist group, foreign or domestic.”

6:32 p.m.: According to Runner’s World magazine, the Boston Athletic Association said 17,584 runners out of 23,326 total had crossed the finished line at the time of the blast. The last recorded finish time was 2:57 p.m.

The American Red Cross is helping to connect victims with their families and coordinate volunteer efforts in the affected areas. The organization has set up a Safe and Well website where people can update family and friends with their current status and whereabouts. Blood donations are also being accepted throughout Massachusetts. Click here to find out more.

6:26 p.m.: According to CNN, citing a spokeswoman, Children’s Memorial Hospital in Boston has admitted seven injured people from the blast, six of them children.

The fire incident at the JFK Library has been mitigated, the library is reporting.

6:14 p.m.: In a short 3-minute statement just after 6 p.m. Monday, President Obama reflected on the horror of today’s situation. “On days like today there are no Republicans and Democrats — we are Americans united in our concern for our fellow citizens.” Obama highlighted the uncertainty of the situation: “We still do not know who did this or why, and people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts.” But the president affirmed that the U.S. is gathering as much information as possible. “But make no mistake 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 — and responsible groups — will feel the full weight of justice… We will find out who did this and we will hold them accountable.” The president did not call the incident a terror attack, however. Read the full transcript.

6:04 p.m.: Commissioner Ed Davis noted in a press conference that the JFK Library fire was a result of “an incendiary device or a fire” and was not related to the marathon blasts.

He underscored that despite some conflicting reports, no suspect is in custody yet, but they are questioning certain individuals. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. More than 100 are being treated for injuries.

5:45 p.m.: A government official tells TIME the explosions in downtown Boston were the result of crudely made devices.

President Obama is slated to give a White House briefing at 6:10 p.m.

5:43 p.m.: While an earlier intelligence briefing indicated that cell phone service had been shut down in the Boston area, two national carriers refuted this. Officials with Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel said there have been no requests to shut down cell phone services, which are still operating under heavy traffic in Boston, the AP reports. Sprint spokeswoman Crystal Davis said: “Minus some mild call blocking on our Boston network due to increased traffic, our service is operating normally.”

5:31 p.m.: The third blast at the JFK Library was apparently “fire related,” according to Boston Police Department spokeswoman Cheryl Fiandaca.

5:26 p.m.: The White House has released a photo of President Obama on the phone with FBI Director Robert Mueller, receiving an update on the situation. Flanking the president are Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough. (This photo was originally posted to Flickr and taken by White House photographer Pete Souza.)

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5:11 p.m.: A law enforcement official tells the Associated Press that cell phone service has been shut down in the Boston area to prevent any potential remote detonations of explosives. Given the inability to reach runners and loved ones, Google has launched a Person Finder for anyone with information about people who may have been involved in the blast.

Over the years, the Boston Marathon has undergone numerous security overhauls. TIME writer Katy Steinmetz reports: Under heightened security in 2002, 600 police officers joined the runners. There were also an unprecedented 1,500 state and local police patrolling the route and another 1,500 security guards. There were 415 National Guard troops on hand. Helicopters, bomb-sniffing dogs, hazmat teams and radiation detectors were added. Boston Globe compared to security used for the Olympics and Super Bowl. According to the Mass. National Guard website, more than 400 troops were involved in 2013, too. From the release: Pfc. Matthew S. Knowlton, a military policeman with the 747 Military Police Company, was one Soldier assigned to help out at the starting line. Describing the scene Knowlton said, “This is a very positive setting, I’m just happy to be here. There are a lot of people here but it’s a great crowd.”

5:08 p.m.: Video from overhead the finish line shows the terror in the wake of the blasts.

4:50 p.m.: In a Monday evening press conference, Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis discussed the incident: “At 2:50 p.m. simultaneous explosions occurred” near the finish line, about 75 to 100 yards apart. “Each scene resulted in multiple casualties” but wouldn’t confirm the exact number. As fearful spectators ran from the scene, a number of bags were left behind; the Boston Police Department is treating all left-behind bags as a “suspicious device.”

Davis confirmed a third explosion at the nearby JFK Library, possibly unrelated, but stated that as of now they have not found another explosive device. The JFK Library is located 5 miles southeast of the blast site near Copley Square.

4:47 p.m.: Other cities across the world are now reevaluating their marathon security plans. According to the Associated Press, police departments in New York City, Los Angeles, London and other cities are stepping up security efforts following the explosion while British police are reviewing security plans for the London Marathon, scheduled for next Sunday.

4:42 p.m.: Statement from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick: “This is a horrific day in Boston. My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured. I have been in touch with the President, Mayor Menino and our public safety leaders. Our focus is on making sure that the area around Copley Square is safe and secured. I am asking everyone to stay away from Copley Square and let the first responders do their jobs.”

4:40 p.m.: The New York Times has unveiled a map of the explosion site in proximity to the finish line.

4:27 p.m.: According to intelligence officials, two more explosive devices were found at the scene near the marathon’s finish line and are currently being dismantled.

4:24 p.m.: The White House says President Obama is tracking the situation closely. From TIME correspondent Zeke J. Miller in Washington, D.C.: “Shortly after being notified of the incident around 3pm EDT, the President received a briefing from Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco and other members of his senior White House staff in the Oval Office. The President called Boston Mayor Tom Menino and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to express his concern for those who were injured and to make clear that his administration is ready to provide needed support as they respond to the incident.”

4:08 p.m.: Roughly three hours after the winners crossed the finish line, there was reportedly a loud explosion on the north side of Boylston Street, just before the photo bridge that marks the finish line. Another explosion was heard by spectators a few seconds later. Initial reports from the said at least two people were dead, and 23 injured. (Watch here for further updates.)

Boston marathon organizers said in a statement on Facebook that the explosion was caused by two bombs: “We are working with law enforcement to understand what exactly has happened.”

Bloody spectators were being carried Monday to the medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners. Police wove through competitors as they ran back toward the course. “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. A Boston police officer was wheeled from the course with a leg injury that was bleeding.

3:45 p.m.: A White House official told TIME that President Obama had been notified of the incident and that the administration was in contact with local authorities. Airspace above Boston was closed late Monday afternoon. Pedestrians were restricted from the sidewalk in front of the White House, as police cordoned off the area with yellow tape.

“There are people who are really, really bloody,” said Runner Laura McLean of Toronto, who reported hearing two explosions outside the medical tent. “They were pulling them into the medical tent.”

Cherie Falgoust was waiting for her husband, who was running the race: “I was expecting my husband any minute,” she said. “I don’t know what this building is … it just blew. Just a big bomb, a loud boom, and then glass everywhere. Something hit my head. I don’t know what it was. I just ducked.”

After September 11th, the Federal Bureau of Investigation started adding more protection to the race as part of increased counterterrorism efforts, director Robert S. Mueller, III said in a 2002 speech.

Most people learned the news from Twitter, as numerous tweets included photos of a chaotic scene at the finish line:

CBS’s Boston affiliate WBZ captured the moment the explosion occurred on camera:

The windows of a Starbucks coffee were blown out in photo taken by user stackiii:

- The Associated Press contributed to this report

422 comments
Troy Turnbow
Troy Turnbow

freemason47714@gmail.com troy travis turnbow chandler

boston4528
boston4528

The news said today"One dead.Other on the run.  

They did face justice.

Don't know there names,but the one that died was 20.The other on the run was 19.

Alejandra Pinero de Plaza
Alejandra Pinero de Plaza

Venezuelan people need your help!!!!! The voices of the majority of the country are being silenced by oppression right now. Social media is showing how people are clamouring for a scrutiny process on the results of this country's presidential election. They are asking for the Constitution to be honoured and upheld. Even government supporters demand the truth and are publicly asking for an end to the aggression and human rights violations against the population. The opposition claims that thousands of irregularities have been documented. An auditory process must therefore be undertaken to restore reconciliation and peace to this land that used to be a first-class democratic country, once. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9NigvA6wkGM

Aba Kostr
Aba Kostr

don't worry God will have solution. because the innocent people are his son, do your job you will get the answer

ramak_45
ramak_45

@TIME Every Indian wishes the contestans safe and enjoyable Marathon,All londoners keep a watch .The kiilers can be there anywhere.

JasonDanielArmenta
JasonDanielArmenta

We are always attacked because our greed driven Government is always up in other countries in the name of peace, or fighting terriositst lol When in reality it is always about Oil, Government control, Money, Diamonds etc etc...Every attack on our land has been stemed from hate, despise, and revenge because of our Government!! Its the truth but no one will ever do anything about it. Do you see our Government up in Mexico trying to bring freedom to their people who suffer daily to the drug cartel? No! Why would they, there is no benefit or resource to gain their, other than drug imports which is connected to the C.I.A but thats whole other conspiracy "If it don't make dollars, it dont make sense" Isnt that our Governments motto?? Look i use to be the biggest supporter for my Country, and i still am, supporter of the PEOPLE! NOT the GOVERNMENT. There are just to many inconsistancies and patterns to strong to ignore no matter my invested personal feelings to my country. We the people always suffer because we are stuck between the Bully (U.S.A.) and the Victim (Iraq, Sudan, Japan, Iran, etc etc.) ongoing fight. Prayers from my Native heart towards those who suffer because Government retaliation attacks.

JTothfromHoth
JTothfromHoth

Rewind the video tape from the feed at the finish line, and we can see who planted the bomb...it's not that difficult.

azmalhome
azmalhome

I think that the USA own did this bombing to finding a new clue for playing a  new game. beceuse The USA is number one rich country. they have highest spy agent everywhere.

i detest them who those like to hurt innocent of people. http://azmalhome.wordpress.com/




Damilola Ola
Damilola Ola

You, Gary Mangan, are a useless pointless ANIMAL...........

babyalaese
babyalaese

What is wrong with people now days...  my prayers goes out to all of those who were injured. God bless

truthis2012
truthis2012

It is horrible the lives lost and I will pray for the families who were involved in this mess. Innocent bystanders injured to make some sort of point. What is the point I thought that 911 was enough for America and now who knows what's next will a war be called due to this disturbing act of violence. Will justice be served? Maybe if we find out who did this but so far it looks like we have little to run off of. The pictures are disturbing and they are just as disturbing to us as the mess we have created in other countries. I hope for one day in my life we can have respect for one and other and realize we are all here for survival. This is why I choose to not have children because I would have great fear for their lives as I do for my own.  

truthis2012
truthis2012

the problem is the united states does not mind there own business they are in every one else's business causing chaos not needed to Americans. If we could leave other countries alone and let them run it the way they choose then we would have less enemies.

coloring06
coloring06

I dont know what we do 2 deserve being attakced by terrorists. We just mind our own business and go about our daily ways. My heart and prayers go out 2 the vicitms of this tragity.

RadheShyamGupta
RadheShyamGupta

I am really very much pained to the photos of terror attacks.Terrorists should be hanged,

RadheShyamGupta
RadheShyamGupta

International President-World Friends Association For Peace &Security,condemned the BOSTON,Bomb Attacks in U.S.A.,Appeals to U.N.SECRETARY GENERAL  &President Barack Obama to stop such attacks in U.S.A.,India & different parts of the world.Not Only the U.S.A. but the whole world citizens should not be   feel fear from any such guilty attacks .          

Muhammad R. Islam
Muhammad R. Islam

Smart action! We must investigate on those cell phone carriers, by looking each of the call logs which have been recoded between the time frame that the incident had been taken place; it may help us to find out the master mind of the horrific incident.

rhonda41070
rhonda41070

Is anyone noticing that the times on all the tweets are incorrect?  Just look at the daylight scenes saying that it's late at night???  Am I missing something?


rhonda41070
rhonda41070

My prayers are with all the beautiful people in Boston today.....so terribly sorry for what you are living through right now. 

Everett Ellis
Everett Ellis

When will we show our fellow citizens love, even when a crime is committed against us, we cannot seem to pull it together and support each other black or white, our president or regular citizens.. come on lets stop the bull. we are all Americans. Smh.. Ignorance will be the end of us.

Rhein Mellodia
Rhein Mellodia

yet another citizen fallen for them to justify another war beware for all nation out there that is posible thread to US... this is a sign that they would attack u sept 11 for irak boston for ? (watchout)

Charles Juma
Charles Juma

My prayers are with all of you Mr. President at this hour of tragedy!!my empathies..

Kelly McConnell Hornbaker
Kelly McConnell Hornbaker

i find these "photo ops" rather odd. Are there really camera folks right there all the time? If there are, ok fine.

Khoy Neary
Khoy Neary

What the problem with them it was so sad

alivegurl
alivegurl

@VanessaIzka don't be like that, van. death is death, danger is danger. especially this massive.

2centopinion
2centopinion

God, what happened to us? Where is HUMANITY?

Keylan Shannon
Keylan Shannon

So basically, for this to be accepted, it should have been a staged picture where he stood dramatically with a single tear down his eye and a glare of hope and strength for this to be a respectable picture of the commander and chief. Idiots.

Kusuma Tedy
Kusuma Tedy

what the hell is wrong w u pedro !! how u feel when ur family one of victim ?? what u gonna do laughing on ur self ....SMH

Kusuma Tedy
Kusuma Tedy

come on people plz when the others having difficult time some of u make stupid comments to make another feel bad!!!! what u gonna do to help them right now ....

Jose Bautista
Jose Bautista

This picture was released a long time ago...Great way of keeping up with the news...

boston4528
boston4528

@Gary Mangan the pres is not lame.you are lame.you should read a book.

JamesShatney
JamesShatney

Easy to say when we live here. Hard to imagine why we fight in other countries?  Maybe its because some of us believe that freedom must be fought for. And yes sadly, freedom comes with a price.