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Boston mourns after bombs kill three, injure at least 144

  • The flag on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol is lowered to half-staff on Capitol Hill, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Washington, after the explosions at the Boston Marathon. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    The flag on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol is lowered to half-staff on Capitol Hill, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Washington, after the explosions at the Boston Marathon. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Purchase photo reprints »

  • The flag on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol is lowered to half-staff on Capitol Hill, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Washington, after the explosions at the Boston Marathon. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

“This cowardly act will not be taken in stride,” Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said. “We will turn over every rock to find those responsible.”

The 2:50 p.m. double bombing shattered the bliss of the sun-splashed marathon, sending frantic runners and fans scrambling for cover and sending at least 144 to the hospital. There were at least three dead - including an 8-year-old - and 30 wounded “critically,” officials said Monday night.

The FBI took over the investigation Monday night as President Barack Obama pledged to track down the ruthless killer or killers.

“We will get to the bottom of this. We will find out who did this and we will find out why,” Obama said. “They will feel the full weight of justice.

“Boston is a tough and resilient town. Residents will pull together, take care of each other and move forward,” he added. “The American people are with them every step of the way.”

FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Rick DesLauriers said the city should remain in a “heightened state of vigilance” Tuesday as an army of cops patrols the streets.

“It is a potential terrorist investigation,” DesLauriers said Monday night. “We will bring those responsible to justice as quickly as possible.”

Late Monday night, state police, Boston bomb squad and canine units, as well as FBI, ICE and ATF agents, swooped into an apartment complex in Revere. It was unclear whether the search was connected to the marathon bombings.

Downtown, the city was gripped by fear as revelers who came to celebrate wound up running for their lives. Roughly 15 blocks around Copley Square were “locked down” after the attacks and were slated to remain so Tuesday. Heavily armed National Guard soldiers, state troopers with bomb-sniffing dogs and hundreds of cops patrolled hotels, restaurants and the streets while shaken families huddled inside.

Officials said random bag searches would occur Tuesday on Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority trains.

There were reports Monday night of a suspect in custody, but Davis said they were wrong. He did say there were “people being questioned,” but provided no more details.

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who was hospitalized with a broken leg, checked himself out of Brigham and Women’s Hospital Monday night to be at the city’s command post, where he met with Davis, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, and federal and state officials.

“The marathon is a great day in the city of Boston, but we had a tragedy,” Menino said from a wheelchair at the Westin Copley hotel. “I offer my condolences and prayers to the victims.”

Logan International Airport - the launching pad for two of the planes in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York City - was shut down for about an hour after the attack. A no-fly zone around Boston was put in place by the Federal Aviation Administration.

In a statement, the Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the marathon, said: “It is a sad day for the City of Boston. ... What was intended to be a day of joy and celebration quickly became a day in which running a marathon was of little importance.”

Kyle Loehning of Charlestown arrived at Tufts Medical Center to see his sister-in-law, who was injured in the blast.

“She was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said. “They think she lost her leg.”

U.S. Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, a South Boston resident, said authorities believe the devices were brought into the area after police did a security sweep. He said city and state officials took “all the appropriate steps,” but security efforts in the future “will have to be redoubled.”

“There was nothing to lead us to believe that what we were doing, what the mayor was doing, what the governor was doing was less than appropriate,” Lynch said. “The staffing was there, the sweeps were there. ... They did their due diligence. But ... under these circumstances, it was very difficult to stop.”


Valley spectators, runners shaken by shocking attack

Monday, April 15, 2013

Waiting for her daughter to cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon, Elaine Puleo of Shutesbury heard an explosion about 200 yards away that she and others initially thought was a cannon firing. When a second explosion occurred moments later, they quickly realized that something was amiss. “It was just chaos. It was chaos,” Puleo said. “It was really …

Local runners, spectators describe explosions in Boston

Monday, April 15, 2013

BOSTON — Tim Kliegl, a retired UPS worker who lives in Amherst, completed Monday’s Boston Marathon in 3 hours, 54 minutes. Having started in Hopkinton at 10:30 a.m., he was passing the finishers’ refreshment tables and walking around the far side of Copley Square at 2:50 p.m. when he heard the first explosion from the marathon finish behind him. A …

Boston Marathon bombings kill three, injure over 140

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

BOSTON — Two bombs exploded in the crowded streets near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing at least three people and injuring more than 140 in a bloody scene of shattered glass and severed limbs that raised alarms that terrorists might have struck again in the U.S. A White House official speaking on condition of anonymity …

Runners describe Boston Marathon finish-line chaos

Monday, April 15, 2013

BOSTON — Runners who had just finished their 26.2-mile ordeal, already on the verge of collapse, were stunned and shocked by the explosions that rocked the finish line Monday afternoon. “I was just finished and collecting my medal when it went off,” said runner Mike McMahan of Maple Grove, Minn. “Then the next one went off 10 seconds later. I …

Witnesses describe scene of Boston Marathon bombing

Monday, April 15, 2013

BOSTON — Witnesses who heard the bomb blasts near the finish line of the Boston Marathon walked into a scene of chaos and carnage where they had expected celebration and revelry. A few accounts from people who were there: BRUCE MENDELSOHN was attending a post-race party in an office building just above the blast site when an explosion knocked him …

Photo gallery after bombs explode at Boston Marathon

Monday, April 15, 2013

BOSTON — Bloodied victims are carried on stretchers and pushed in wheelchairs to safety. Police clear the scene strewn with debris and broken glass. A runner, crying, is comforted after the explosions. Here are some images from the bombing at the Boston Marathon finish line. …

Hospitals prepared for sprains end up treating carnage after Boston Marathon explosions

Monday, April 15, 2013

BOSTON — Boston hospitals that were prepared Monday to treat injuries from a rigorous road race instead mobilized disaster plans to treat the dozens seriously injured in the explosions that killed three people at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. “This is something I’ve never seen in my 25 years here ... this amount of carnage in the civilian …

President Obama vows Boston culprits to feel ‘weight of justice’

Monday, April 15, 2013

WASHINGTON — A stony-faced President Barack Obama declared that those responsible for the explosions at the Boston Marathon “will feel the full weight of justice,” but he urged a nervous nation not to jump to conclusions. Top lawmakers declared the deadly incident an act of terrorism, and a White House official said it was being treated that way. Obama, speaking …

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