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Tuesday, 16 April 2013 08:33

Young bombing victim remembered

 BOSTON (AP) - The young victim of the Boston Marathon bombings is being remembered as a vivacious boy who loved to run and climb.

Eight-year-old Martin Richard was among the three people killed in the explosions. That's according to a person who spoke with a friend of the family.

A candle burned on the stoop of the family's single-family home in the city's Dorchester section today, and the word "Peace" was written in chalk on the front walkway.

 

Published in National News

St. Louis-based Fleet Feet Running Stores sent a team of 11 runners to the Boston Marathon.

Director of training, Brandi Barbre tells KTRS News that they were worried about some of their runners right after the blasts. "A couple of people were a few hours late, because they were actually crossing the finish line right when, kind of, the explosions went off.  As far as health-wise, they're safe and back in their hotel.  And they way I understand it, ready to come home."

 

The Fleet Feet runners, like many in the area around the blast zone, were locked down inside their hotel for the night.  The company says the runners are making arrangements to come home later Tuesday.

Veteran St. Louis runner and coach, Flavia Beretta Bader says, "at one moment I was celebrating a great day of running and in a second it turned tragic, the worst thing I've ever seen." 

Two large race organizers in St. Louis, Go! St. Louis and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, both responded to Monday’s explosions in Boston.

Two weekends ago thousands lined the streets of downtown St. Louis to run the Go! St. Louis Marathon.

Go! workers issued a statement expressing sadness by Monday's events. They said they also understand the tremendous effort it takes to hold a marathon especially when it comes to ensuring the safety of runners and spectators.

 

 
Published in Local News

   PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — The Pakistani Taliban have denied any role in the bombings at the Boston Marathon that killed at least three people and injured more than 140.

   The group's spokesman, Ahsanullah Ahsan, denied involvement in a telephone call with The Associated Press on Tuesday. He spoke from an undisclosed location.

   The main focus of the Pakistani Taliban has been a bloody insurgency against the Pakistani government because of its alliance with the United States and to enforce Islamic law in the country.

   But the group has threatened attacks in the U.S. as well, and claimed responsibility for a failed car bombing in New York's Times Square in 2010.

   The Times Square attacker, Faisal Shahzad, has admitted to getting training from the Pakistani Taliban in the country's tribal region.

Published in National News

   MOSCOW (AP) — The organizers of the World Athletics Championship in Moscow say they will beef up security in the wake of deadly explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

   The August 10 to 18 event is seen as a dress rehearsal for the 2014 Winter Games in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi.

   The R-Sport news agency on Tuesday quoted Valentin Balakhnichev, president of the Russian Athletics Federation, as saying that the organizers "will draw conclusions" from the Boston bombings.

   Balakhnichev said the security standards they adhere to are high but the organizers "will take tougher measures" to ensure security.

Published in National News

   BOSTON (ABC) - The death toll in the Boston Marathon bombings has increased to three people, according to the Boston Police commissioner.

   Among the dead was an 8-year-old boy, law enforcement sources told ABC News. The Boston Globe identifies the dead child as Martin Richard.

   "This cowardly act will not be taken within stride," Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said this evening. "We will turn every rock over to find the people who are responsible for this."

   At least 133 people were injured, including several children with severe trauma, when bombs exploded almost simultaneously near the marathon finish line, police said.

   Doctors at two Massachusetts hospitals said some of the victims underwent amputations and were suffering from burns, while others had sustained injuries from shrapnel to their lower extremities.

   "Everything we saw was ordinary material that could have been propelled by the device," said Dr. Ron Walls, chair of emergency medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

FBI Taking Charge of Investigation

   The FBI has taken the lead in the investigation and at a news conference tonight said there are no suspects in custody.

   Despite reports of law enforcement officials questioning a potential person of interest at Brigham and Women's Hospital, where many of the injured were taken, Davis urged caution.

   "There's no suspect at Brigham and Women's Hospital," Davis said. "There are people we are talking to, but no suspect."

   ABC News can confirm that one of the people law enforcement officials are talking to is a 20-year-old Saudi national at a Boston hospital. Sources tell ABC News that he is here legally on a student visa and that his visa is clean with no apparent criminal history.

   Boston police tonight, at a news conference, said that there are people they are talking to, but no suspects.

   Two bombs exploded near the race finish line on Boylston Street shortly before 3 p.m. The area was crowded with runners and spectators, and thousands of runners were still completing the race.

   Davis declined to say whether he thought the devices were acts of terrorism, but said, "You can reach your own conclusion based on what happened."

   According to law enforcement sources, the first bomb exploded at the Marathon Sports running store and blew out windows in four nearby buildings, injuring 15 to 20 individuals. The second blast occurred about 50 to 100 yards away, severely injuring more bystanders, Davis said.

   The working theory about the bombs among Massachusetts law enforcement is that they were small, crudely made devices hidden in bags or backpacks, planted either during the race or immediately prior and detonated remotely, possibly with a cellphone. Officials have subpoenaed cellphone records.

   More than 400 National Guardsmen in attendance at the marathon helped secure a perimeter around the scene.

   One witness described the scene as being like a "war zone," while a doctor who was standing nearby said he immediately started treating people with severe leg injuries.

   "Six or so people went down right away on my left, mostly with leg injuries. One gentleman had both legs below the knee blown off," Dr. Allan Panter, a physician who witnessed the event, told ABC News. "One girl I treated, I could not find any obvious injury to her torso, but she arrested. She was between 24 and 30.

   "The people had singed facial hair and stuff. Most of the injuries were on their legs," Panter said. "I was 20 feet away, one storefront down. My ears were ringing. Everything blew out from the storefront."

   Police initially said a third explosion occurred at John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, but later said it was related to a fire. No one was injured at the library, police said.

   The Federal Aviation Administration issued a temporary flight restriction over the area of the explosion.

   Police were asking for all video footage of the finish line at the time of the explosion.

   An emergency room doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital told ABC News that the hospital had performed several amputations, particularly on victims whose legs were injured. Many of the victims were runners still wearing numbers on their shirts, the doctor said.

   He described the injuries as "shrapnel-type wounds" possibly caused by "pipe bombs," though police have not confirmed that description.

   Earlier, a trauma nurse from Massachusetts General Hospital told ABC News that medical workers had set up a temporary morgue at a medical tent at the road race and were treating patients with severed limbs and children with severe burns.

   In the immediate aftermath of the explosions, Boston EMS personnel could be seen shuttling the injured out of the blast area on wheelchairs. Several of the victims were bleeding from the face.

   A doctor who was in the medical tent about 150 yards away from the explosion said it looked like a "war zone," with "lots of blood," and said that all physicians were told to go to the scene and help the injured.

   Boston police set off a third explosion before 4 p.m. and were sweeping the area, checking dozens of bags left behind by runners who evacuated the area after the explosions. Officials also tested for chemicals to help determine what kind of device was used, according to police.

   Attorney General Eric Holder was in touch with the FBI in Boston and President Obama was notified of the blasts. All of Boston's police force was ordered to report to duty.

   Security precautions were taken elsewhere beyond Boston. In Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House was closed to pedestrians and there was heightened security.

   In Boston, police told people in area of the blasts to avoid trash cans, according to witnesses.

   The explosions erupted on what is usually a festive day in Boston. It is designated Patriots Day and most offices are closed for the celebration and the marathon.

   Debris from the explosions could be seen scattered throughout the spectators' stands and finish line area of the marathon as emergency personnel cleared the area.

   Video of the explosions showed plumes of white smoke pouring into the air above the street where runners were.

   More than 26,00 runners were registered to compete in this year's marathon. The marathon clock was at shortly after four hours at the time of the explosions, which is the average time it takes runners to complete the Boston race, potentially putting the greatest number of competitors at risk.

 
Published in National News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he has reached out to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency after explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon killed two and injured many others.

He says nothing suggests there any connections to Illinois or Chicago. But the Chicago Democrat says Illinois must be on the alert.

Quinn characterized the explosions as "a potential terrorist incident" but said more facts need to come out.

Federal officials say two bombs exploded near the finish line of the marathon on Monday. Two people died and.

Quinn says he has directed all state public safety agencies, including Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Military Affairs and the State Fire Marshal to be ready to assist and remain vigilant. He also asks Illinoisans to report anything suspicious.

Published in Local News

BOSTON (AP) — Boston police say no suspect has been taken into custody in connection with the explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Police Commissioner Edward Davis also says that the fire at a library a few miles away and more than an hour later doesn’t appear to be related to the explosions at the race on Monday. He says the fire may have been caused by an incendiary device.

Authorities say the blasts killed two people and injured at least 73.

Police say it’s too early to get into specifics about the nature of devices or whether shrapnel was involved.

Published in National News

UPDATE 6:15 PM:

Two people died in Monday's terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon.

The Boston Globe confirmed that an 8-year-old boy is one of the two people who died.

UPDATE 6:00 PM:

President Obama said the full resources of the Federal Government will be put behind the investigation of Monday's Boston Marathon bombing.

The President was unwilling to call the bombing a terrorist attack during his statement on Monday afternoon, but a White House official classified it as a terror attack on Monday evening. 

UPDATE 3:50 PM:

The Boston Globe reports the injury toll at the Boston Marathon Bombing has climbed to 64 wounded and 2 dead.

UPDATE 3:31 PM:

ABC News reports that Boston Police are asking people in the area of the bombing to avoid using cell phones for fear that they could trigger additional devices.

From Twitter:

Police telling people on scene of Boston Marathon to not use cell phones because could set off other devices

There are also reports that police have dismantled at least one additional explosive device.

UPDATE 3:08 PM

ABC News - Boston - Two explosions erupted the finish line of the Boston Marathon today, turning the annual race into a bloody crime scene.

The blasts occurred on Boyleston Street about three hours after the top runners had finished the race, but with thousands of marathoners still running the route.

According to law enforcement sources, the first blast was at the Marathon Sports running store before 3 p.m., and blew out windows in four nearby buildings, injuring at least 25 and killing 2.

About 10 second later, a second explosion occurred, severely injuring more bystanders, police said.

Boston EMS personnel could be seen shuttling the injured out of the blast area on wheelchairs. Several of them were bleeding from the face.

Massachussets Genreal Hospital has received four patients and is expecting more, according to a hospital spokesman.

A trauma nurse from the hospital told ABC News that the race's medical tent, already set up to deal with runner injuries, set up a morgue area at a triage center at the back of the tent. The medical staff reported multiple victims with severed limbs and children with severe burns.

Bomb squads are sweeping the area, checking suspicious packages and are testing for chemicals to help determine what kind of device was used, according to police.

Homeland Security Direction Eric Holder was in touch with the FBI in Boston and President Obama was notified of the blasts.

Police have told people in area to avoid trash cans, according to witnesses.

The explosions erupted on what is usually a festive day in Boston. It is designated Patriots Day and most offices are closed for the celebration and the marathon.

Debris from the explosions could be seen scattered throughout the spectators stands and finish line area of the marathon as emergency personnel cleared the area.

Video of the explosions showed plumes of white smoke pouring into the air above the street where runners were.

More than 26,00 runners were registered to compete in this year's marathon.

 
Published in National News
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