What Went Wrong?
About two hours after the winners crossed the finish line, one explosion rocked the north side of Boyslon Street and seconds later another bomb exploded. AP reports that two are dead and 23 people are injured. A state trouper from Greenville, R.I., Roupen Bastajian, had just finished the race and ran to help. He said, “There were people all over the floor… 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.”
Two other unexploded devices were found near the scene, raising suspicions that this could be a terrorist attack. Intelligence officials told The Associated Press that the unexploded devices are being dismantled. Officials also told NBC News that two small homemade bombs are the preliminary cause of the explosions. CBS reports “no credible claim” has been made taking responsibility for the bombing.”
A White House official said Obama had been notified of the “incident in Boston” and directed his administration to aid Boston authorities in investigating the cause. ”His administration is in contact with state and local authorities. He directed his administration to provide whatever assistance is necessary in the investigation and response,”
According to the NY Times, “The Boston police confirmed they were looking into the explosions, but made no further comment. Another senior United States government official said that the Boston police and the F.B.I. said they had received no reports in recent days about a threat of an attack on the marathon and that there was no warning on Monday.”
“Authorities in large cities are typically on the highest level of alert for events like a marathon, said Anthony Roman, a security expert.
‘It is quite the counterterrorism effort,’ said Mr. Roman, who runs Roman & Associates, a New York firm.
For major events in New York and other large cities, Mr. Roman said the police would typically weld manhole covers shut and examine the entire route just before the race. They would also place snipers on rooftops, with helicopters overhead, and analytic cameras in the city would be used, he said.
‘They have all the analytic cameras in the city focusing on the race with their advanced software network, reading license plates,’ Mr. Roman said.”
Security has been beefed up in NYC and Washington, D.C. as a result of the explosions.
“This is a horrific day in Boston,” Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said in a statement. “My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured. I have been in touch with the President, Mayor [Thomas] 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.”