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Twin bomb blasts have rocked the United States, killing at least three people and leaving more than 100 injured, many seriously at the finish line of the world-famous Boston Marathon.
The near-simultaneous blasts went off around 2.50pm local time, and have reportedly resulted in the death of an 8-year old child, according to the Boston Globe.
Authorities in the United States have said that the FBI-led investigation — which has yet to lead to arrests — is likely a terrorism case.
Investigators have spoken to a Saudi man, but authorities stressed multiple times that he is not a suspect.
Peter Fagenholz, a doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital has confirmed that the attacks caused several amputations, with most of the injuries to victims’ legs.
United States President Barack Obama has vowed to bring the full weight of justice down on whoever is responsible, and Boston police chief Ed Davis has said they “will turn over every rock” to find them.
Read all of the coverage on Business Insider here.
Below is a summary of events as they happened:
12.00pm: Athletics Australia says around 150 Australians were competing in the marathon, reports ABC News.
11.50am: No evidence that Australians hurt: Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
“This has been a shocking morning for many Australians,” the Prime Minister said on ABC News.
At this stage, the Government has no information warranting any change in the terrorism alert level in Australia.
11.33: A man present at a press conference with governor Daval Patrick has asked if the bombing was a ‘false flag’ attack.
A false flag attack is when government attacks its own citizens to make an enemy look bad.
11.30am: Reports: Ball bearings used in the bomb, at least 10 amputations, ABC News reported.
10.55: Police commissioner Ed Davis has told reporters that three people have died as a result of the attack.
10.47: The FBI has taken over the investigation. It is being described as a criminal investigation that could become a terrorist investigation.
10.46: City of Boston to be open tomorrow “but it wont be business as usual,” says Governor Deval Patrick.
10.21am: US Homeland Security has confirmed one suspect is in custody and authorities are searching for a truck which reportedly tried to gain access to the marathon before the explosions, Seven News reported.
10.16: CBS news is reporting that a potential suspect was a Saudi man tackled after the blast and could potentially be an innocent bystander.
10.08am: The Boston Globe reports that 125 people have been injured in the attacks. The official death toll remains at 2.
Toll at the Boston Marathon rises to 125 injured. Person of interest questioned. http://t.co/2f8EsuOHYQ
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) April 16, 2013
10.02am The Boston Globe is reporting that is person of interest is being questioned at a hospital.
BREAKING NEWS: Authorities question person of interest in Marathon bombings at Brigham and Women's.
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) April 15, 2013
9.52am Foreign Minister Bob Carr says explosions at Boston Marathon “represent a domestic terrorist strike”.
9.28am: An Australian told ABC News she was just minutes away from being caught up in the explosions and she felt the ground shake as she waited near the finish line for a friend to finish the race.
Laura McFarlane said the blast ripped through the shops behind her as she moved forward to greet her friend and people were “mown down” by the explosions.
9.05am: British police will be reviewing security ahead of this week’s London marathon, but at this point organisers say the race will be going ahead.
In the hours after the Boston attack the London race’s chief executive Nick Bitel confirmed that Sunday’s events will go ahead.
Speaking on Radio 5 live he said: ‘We will not be cancelling the event.’
8.59am: In a heartbreaking development, there are reports that more than a dozen children are among the wounded.
Boston station WCVB reports 98 people have been taken to hospital. They report the Children’s Hospital as having an unknown number of patients, but the youngest is 3 years old.
8.45am: There’s been confusion over reports of a Saudi national being in custody following the event. Officials denied earlier reports by the New York Post that an injured Saudi national was being held. Now there’s this from CBS:
8.41am: It’s getting into the evening now in Boston. Locals in Boston are using the Twitter hashtag #Bostonhelp to offer accommodation to people stranded in the chaos.
8.30am: A grim-faced President Obama speaking at the White House a short time ago.
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8.21am: There’s a massive police presence on the streets of New York. Reuters’ Clare Richardson tweeted this:
“We still do not know who did this or why and people should not jump to conclusions until we know why.”
“Any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.
“We will find out who did this and we will hold them accountable.”
8.10am: Barack Obama says “we don’t yet have all the answers.”
8.07am: CNN has cited unnamed federal sources, saying that the bomb blasts are now being classified as a “terrorist attack.”
8.03am: President Barack Obama will address the nation in the next ten minutes.
7.59am: Boston police commissioner Edward Davis has just told reporters that the third device was not a bomb and at this time, was not being directly linked to the two blasts at the Marathon.
7.55am: Australian paralympian was resting after finishing fifth in the wheelchair marathon just 100m away from where the blasts occurred. He immediately started to contact other Australians he knew of in town to check on them:
“You hit everyone, as soon as you find out, you kind of hit every Aussie that you know is here and the only one that we’re waiting for is the last [of the] indigenous marathon group, so hopefully all is good mate. It’s not all good, it looks shit, it looks terrible … apologies … it looks like a real terrible event.”
Megan Levy has more at The Age.
There have been multiple explosions at the finish line for the Boston Marathon, with reports of at least “dozens” of injuries and a number of deaths.
The explosion occured near on Boylston Street near the intersections of Fairfield and Exeter streets just before 3pm local time (5am AEST).
Boston Police’s have confirmed 2 dead and 22 injured, while the New York Post reports that 12 are dead and dozens more are injured. Another, more recent figure from the Boston Globe says that more than 100 people are being treated for injuries.
“There are people who are really, really bloody,” runner Laura McLean of Toronto told the AP. “They were pulling them into the medical tent.”
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“It was just an explosion, it came out of nowhere,” Boston.com sports producer Steve Silva, who was at the scene, said. ” There are multiple injuries. I saw dismemberment, I saw blood everywhere. People are badly injured.”
At the time of writing, law enforcement officials have not commented on what caused the explosions. However, one law enforcement source has told NBC news that it was caused by at least one IED (improvised explosive device) and the Boston Marathon Facebook page has an update that refers to two bombs.
There have been multiple reports police are investigating the possibility of more explosive devices in different locations in Boston. At a press conference, Boston PD confirmed that there was also a fire at JFK Library this afternoon but it is unclear if it is related.
Kennedy School of Government at Harvard has reportedly been evacuated, and there are also reports that the headquarters of the Boston Marathon are now on lockdown. Cellphone service in Boston has been shut down according to the AP.
CBS News has reported that police have an image of a “suspect”, while the New York Post says they have confirmation an injured individual suspected of involvement is in custody.
However, the Boston Police have toldTalking Points Memo that no-one has been arrested yet. Fox News reports that it has been confirmed that a “person of interest” is in custody, but it has not been confirmed if the man was the perpetrator or a victim.
New York Police Department are stepping up counter-terrorism vehicles around Manhattan.
Australians concerned about loved ones in Boston can call 1300 555 135 for information. DFAT reports no Australians have yet been identified among the dead or injured.