Last Monday, April 15, 2013, Boston held its 117th Boston Marathon one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious marathons. It is one of Boston’s biggest annual events, the race winds up near Copley Square, not far from the landmark Prudential Center and the Boston Public Library. It was also Patriots Day, commemorating the opening battle of the Revolutionary War. Unfortunately four hours in to the race this year, what was intended to be of joy and celebration quickly became a terrifying day we will all remember. At around 2:50 pm, two large explosions just 50-100 yards apart went off disrupting the marathon and caused chaos to hundreds of onlookers and runners. The first explosion happened near the Boston Marathon finish line, north side of Boylston Street, and the second explosion was nearby Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
Three people have been confirmed dead and more than 176 injured. The dead included an 8-year-old boy, Martin Richard. The second victim identified as Krystle Campbell, 29. And the third, a Chinese Boston University student identified as Lü Lingzi. All three were near the finish line when the bomb detonated. According to USA Today, most of the injured victims lost limbs and suffered terrible injuries as the twin blasts exploded about 30 seconds apart, and 50-100 yards away from each other. Among the injured, 17 were reported in critical condition. The victims at eight local hospitals were as young as 2.
“There were so many people in that area that they couldn’t get ambulances in there,” said Joe Difazio, who was working on communications near the site when the blasts occurred. “They were wheeling people out in wheelchairs. One guy had no legs. The bone was just sticking out. It was horrible.”
The injuries ranged from cuts and bruises to amputations. Many victims suffered lower leg injuries and shrapnel wounds. Some suffered ruptured eardrums. Police officials told the NBC network that they believed that at least one blast was the result of a home-made bomb. Some witnesses described victims with ball-bearing injuries, a further indicator that a bomb was responsible.
According to Fox News, The Associated Press has reported that the device was a pressure cooker bomb—yes, the common cookware throughout the world. The kitchen pressure cooker was said to be packed with nails and other fiendishly lethal shrapnel, and hidden in duffel bags left on the ground. Massachusetts General Hospital doctors described removing pellets and headless nails from the bodies of bombing victims. Both doctors and federal agents believe the shrapnel was included to make the bomb deadlier.
Frances Townsend, a homeland security adviser for President George W Bush, said her law enforcement sources told her that the explosions were a “well co-ordinated, well-planned event”. An estimated 500,000 people were lining the route in a mass gathering on a public holiday for the race – a classic target for a terrorist attack.
According to ABC News, About 23,000 runners participated in this year’s Boston Marathon. Nearly two-thirds of them had crossed the finish line by the time the bombs exploded, but thousands more were still completing the course.
The reaction to many has become familiar, a question of why, a reminder of what preceded it. For some watching from afar, the chaotic early reports coming out on the many news channels and immediate sources reawaken memories of Sept. 11, 2001, even as they reminded themselves to not draw premature conclusions.
Addressing the nation, President Obama said: “We still don’t know who did this or why. People should not jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. But make no mistake. We will get to the bottom of this. We will find out who did this. We will find out why they did this. Any individual or responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.” A White House official said the incident is being treated as an act of terror.
In raw footages, so many people around the area of the first explosion came first hand to help and rescue the injured. Many of these were the firemen, police, volunteers, and bystanders. The unity of the American people and their initiative to help those in need is unwavering despite the horrifying situation. It was very heartbreaking and emotional for the many in world to watch.
The FBI and Boston Police Department are intensifying their investigation on the first explosion at the finish line, vowing a “worldwide investigation” and are asking the public for tips and eyewitness pictures that might surrender clues about who was behind the horrific attack.
At the White House, President Barack Obama said that the bombings were an act of terrorism but that investigators do not know if they were carried out by an international organization, a domestic group or a “malevolent individual.”
Fox News, “At this time there are no claims of responsibility,” FBI officials said in a press conference Tuesday. “The range of suspects and motives remains wide open.” However, as the second bomb exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday has sparked conspiracy theories because it shows a man on top of a building. There is no evidence that the shadowy figure has any involvement in the attack, but this definitely has Twitter buzzing with speculation, “Who is that man on the roof?” With all that has happened around us everyone is advised to take caution at all times and is encouraged to help the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing because this is a time of need. There are many ways for us to send help across the world by donations. For organizations most especially that are active in helping the victims at this time.