The death toll in the bombings at the Boston Marathon has risen to three. More than 140 people are being treated at area hospitals for injuries, some of them grave and involving amputations.
There were two explosions around 2:50 p.m. in Copley Square near the finish line of the Boston Marathon road race. They went off about 12 to 14 seconds apart about 100 yards away from each other on the same side of Boylston Street.
Boston Police said they also discovered two additional devices, one of which they detonated under controlled circumstances.
The FBI, with Special Agent Richard DesLauriers in charge, has taken the lead in the investigation. The FBI said the investigation is a “criminal investigation that is a potential terrorist investigation.”
Police said they had no intelligence or indication prior to the race about a possible bombing.
President Obama called Governor Deval Patrick and Mayor Thomas Menino to offer assistance and condolences. He addressed the nation about 6:30 p.m. and said federal officials including the FBI and Homeland Security are working with city and state law enforcement. He said the people responsible and the reasons for the bombings remain unknown but that the government will find them and hold them accountable. He urged the public not to jump to conclusions.
“We don’t yet have all the answers. We still do not know who did this or why,” President Obama told the American people. “Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.”
The Copley Square area was closed to traffic.
Police have said they have no suspects in custody. They searched an apartment in Revere, a city north of Boston. One of the tenant, who is being treated at a hospital for burns, has been cleared and is not a suspect in the bombings, police said Tuesday.
Police are stationed at the hospitals in the city that are caring for the victims.
There are reports of police investigating an abandoned Penske rental truck not far from the area.
There was another explosion at 4:30 pm at the John F. Kennedy Library, which is about 15 minutes away in another section of Boston. No injuries were reported immediately. Police originally thought the JFK explosion might be related to the Copley Square explosion but they later said it looks like it may have been an unrelated fire.
The volume of calls in the area has also disrupted some service.
Police are looking for any video of the finish line.
An estimated 4,500 runners who had not finished the race by the time of the incident were diverted away from the area.
Police have asked residents to stay home and all runners and visitors to leave the area to allow first responders to do their job.
Some runners were not be able to return to their hotels due to the area being closed.
One of the spectators at the marathon was Dr. Robert Hartwig, president and economist with the Insurance Information Institute, who along with his wife had gone to witness their son finish the race.
Hartwig said his son finished the race about 1:15 p.m, well before the explosion around 2:50 pm. All of the Hartwigs escaped injury. While they were at the finishing line near the explosion scene when their son crossed the line, they had moved blocks away by the time of the explosion. He and his wife were in their car and his son was safe four blocks away.
Hartwig said the security he saw at the event was “enormous” with a heavy police presence as it should be for an event of this nature. The security included bomb sniffing dogs that he saw early in the morning.
Hartwig said it is much too early to gauge any insurance effects of the incident given that the toll in deaths and injuries is still rising. He did say that there did not appear to be a lot of property damage.