Boston Marathon Explosions Injure Several Runners; Race Called Off
Many updates at the bottom: Three are now reported dead; L.A. authorities are on heightened alert. First posted at 12:23 p.m.
Screen-grab of Boston Globe video (see the clip at the bottom).
About a half-dozen people were injured in two mid-race explosions at the Boston Marathon today, according to reports.
The blasts shut down the race, although it was about half way over.
Blood was seen cover the ground near one explosion. CNN's Wolf Blitzer called it "pretty gruesome."
The network said one blast went off on one side of a street at or near the finish line, then another explosion happened on the other side of the street.
[Added at 12:32 p.m.]: A witness told CNN he saw six or seven people "piled around" near one of the explosions. He said they happened near the finish line, perhaps a mile away, but not at it, on Boylston Street.
[Added at 12:39]: At least one photo shows smoke near the finish line. CNN reports the explosions might have happened near Boston's Mandarin hotel.
[Warning: Some of the photos, below, are graphic].
[Added at 12:53 p.m.]: L.A. County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore says the county's Emergency Operations Center has been activated and that extra security would be added to high-profile locations and events, including sports contests, in the area.
An LAPD spokeswoman tells us that the department is not taking any extra precautions at this point.
[Added at 1:05 p.m.]: CNN says two people have died and that 22 people were injured in the blasts.
[Added at 1:11 p.m.]: Vice President Joe Biden today called the blasts "a bombing," though it's not clear if he had any special intelligence on the situation or was just expressing his opinion about what happened.
[Added at 1:28 p.m.]: AP quotes intelligence sources who say two explosive devices have been found near the scene of the blasts, which is near Copley Square and the finish line.
[Added at 1:31 p.m.]: L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca issued this statement this afternoon:
While the cause of the explosions this morning at the Boston Marathon are still under investigation, our vigilance has been raised. The heightened alert of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department includes increased patrols to create a more visible presence where people congregate, such as government buildings, shopping centers, athletic events, and public transit. Partnering with local police and public safety agencies and other countywide efforts have been enhanced, including opening the Department Operations Center to maximize communication.
As always, we encourage the public: 'If You See Something, Say Something.' The greatest deterrent to crime is often a phone call to law enforcement by a person who sees something that just doesn't look right. Our thoughts and prayers go to the many victims, families, friends, and first responders affected by this tragedy.
[Added at 1:34 p.m.]: CNN Says the blasts were "definitively" the result of "bombs."
[Added at 1:42 p.m.]: Reuters and other news outlets are reporting that a third explosion had occurred at John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum in Boston.
Boston police confirms another explosion at JFK Library #breaking— Reuters US News (@ReutersUS) April 15, 2013
Another report refutes that, however, saying a fire at the library today was unrelated.
CNN says law enforcement sources believe the blasts constituted a "well planned and coordinated event."