What awful news to wake up to this morning,
my thoughts and prayers go to the runners, spectators and emergency services workers on this terrible day.
I will never understand the motive for killing innocent people like this, targeting innocent runners and their supporters, absolutely disgusting.
Kiwi and former Alliance Party MP, Laila Harre, told RadioLive she had just crossed the finish line when the explosions happened. She was little more than a couple of hundred metres away and evacuated immediately.
About two hours after the winners crossed the line of America’s oldest and most prestigious marathon, there was a loud explosion on the north side of Boylston Street, just before the photo bridge that marks the finish line. Another explosion could be heard a few seconds later.
The White House said President Barack Obama had been notified about the explosions. The administration said it was in contact with state and local authorities and the president directed his administration to provide whatever assistance was necessary in the investigation and response.
“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.
Competitors and race volunteers were crying as they fled the chaos. Bloody 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 26.2-mile race were rerouted away from the smoking site.
“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.”
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.
Race day got started with 26 seconds of silence in honour of the victims of the December school shooting in Connecticut. A little more than two hours later, the lead runners passed the Mile 26 marker, which was decorated with the Newtown, Connecticut, seal and dedicated to the memory of those killed there.
Earlier this morning, NZ time, Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia took the title in the 117th edition of the Boston Marathon, winning a three-way sprint down Boylston Street to finish in 2 hours, 10 minutes, 22 seconds.
In just his second race at the 26.2-mile distance, Desisa finished 5 seconds ahead of Kenya’s Micah Kogo to earn $150,000 and the traditional olive wreath. Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia was another second behind him, in third place, with American Jason Hartmann matching his 2012 finish by coming in fourth.
Rita Jeptoo won the women’s race earlier for her second Boston victory. Jeptoo, who also won in 2006, finished in 2:26:25 for her first win in a major race since taking two years off after having a baby.
Update: Confirmation now that there were three bombs, very sad
- 2 explosions at Boston Marathon finish line (trib.com)
- Explosions at Finish Line of Boston Marathon (thenetgossip.com)
- Two explosions at Boston marathon finish line (with video) (onlineathens.com)
- 2 Explosions At Boston Marathon Finish Line (wbur.org)
- Two explosions at Boston Marathon finish line (amarillo.com)