Boy, 8, among those killed in Boston Marathon blasts; casualty toll still rising

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By Josh Levs

(CNN) — The number of wounded treated at Boston hospitals after Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings has risen to 132, including 17 in critical condition, hospital officials said.

Two people died in the terror attack, including an 8-year-old boy, a state law enforcement source said.

Two bombs went off near the finish line, throwing people to the ground and creating chaos at the scene as people scrambled for cover.

“Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice,” President Barack Obama vowed.Boston “is a tough and resilient town,” he said, adding that Americans will stand by Bostonians “every single step of the way.”

‘Like a huge cannon’

The terrorist attack, near the marathon’s finish line, triggered widespread screaming and chaos, shattered windows and barricades and sent smoke billowing into the air at Copley Square.

They were about 50 to 100 yards apart, officials said.

“It felt like a huge cannon,” a witness told CNN about one of the blasts.

Photos from the scene showed people being carried away on stretchers. One man in a wheelchair had blood all over his face and legs.

The bombs shook buildings, sending people to seek shelter under tables, witnesses said.

Federal authorities are classifying the bombings as a terrorist attack, but it’s not clear whether the origin was domestic or foreign, a federal law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation said.

A federal law enforcement official told CNN that both bombs were small, and initial tests showed no C-4 or other high-grade explosive material, suggesting that the packages used in the attack were crude explosive devices.

Another explosive device found

Authorities in Boston found at least one other explosive device that they were dismantling, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said.

Davis said a third blast at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library was believed to be related to the marathon bombings, but police later said that incident was believed to be fire-related. The library said all staff and visitors are safe.

It was unclear who may have planted the marathon bombs. There were no credible threats before the race, a state government official said.

There is no suspect in custody, but many people are being questioned, Davis said.

As authorities searched the scene, numerous suspicious packages were found, possibly because people fled the area, leaving items behind. Investigators were checking them.

The Marriott hotel at Copley Place was evacuated as a precaution.

The Lenox Hotel was also evacuated as a precaution, the Boston Globe reported.

‘Horrific day’

Crowds were in the area watching the runners take part in the world’s oldest annual marathon.

It was also Patriot’s Day, commemorating the opening battle of the Revolutionary War.

Within seconds, the festive occasion turned into devastation.

“This is a horrific day in Boston,” Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said in a statement.

“My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured. I have been in touch with the president, Mayor (Thomas) Menino and our public safety leaders. Our focus is on making sure that the area around Copley Square is safe and secured. I am asking everyone to stay away from Copley Square and let the first responders do their jobs.”

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder spoke with FBI Director Robert Mueller and U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, a Justice Department official said.

Holder has directed the full resources of the Justice Department to be deployed to ensure the matter is fully investigated, the official said.

The Federal Aviation Administration placed a flight restriction over the site of the blasts.

Other cities, including New York and Washington, tightened security as a result. Following standard protocol, the White House cleared out an area in front of the West Wing.

“If you see something, say something,” Mark Boughton, mayor of Danbury, Connecticut, wrote on Twitter. “All cities will be on a heightened state of alertness per Homeland Security protocols.”

Mike Baingon, who works at the Atlantic Fish Company in Boston, said an explosion took place in front of the restaurant and that he was right by the front door at the time.

The explosions occurred at about 2:45 p.m., more than two hours after the first of the race’s nearly 27,000 runners had crossed the finish line, CNN Producer Matt Frucci reported.

The race was halted as was subway service into the area.

Runners east of Massachusetts Avenue were directed to Boston Common; those west of Massachusetts Avenue were directed to Kenmore Square, the state’s emergency management agency said.

Troops from the Massachusetts National Guard were assisting police as well.

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6 comments

  • James

    Just think–We have the Indianapolis 500 to look foreward to–maybe the IMS will not have to borrow/spend tax dollars!

    • Really?

      Even with what happened today in Boston jame's comments are a graphic illustration as to the level of freedom we have. Even ignorant morons are afforded free speech. Was going to include free thought but that grossly over states his comment. Idiot.

      • James

        I was just commenting on larger venue- how can you be so narrow minded to the fact that Americans have NO rights anymore. We are subdued by the governments (Federal & Local)decisions

  • Loft

    Why is it every time something like this happens there has to be the only true innocent people on this planet…a small child. The world is such a scary place to live in now and i pray for all our children and can only hope they do better than we do.

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