Boston, Massachusetts — Three people have been reported dead and at least 10 others have lost limbs after dual explosions ripped through the Boston Marathon this afternoon. One of the deceased is an eight-year-old child.
The bombings occurred near the finish line of the marathon at approximately 2:45 p.m., after most of the 27,000 participants had completed the race. Reports state that the scene became chaotic as runners and spectators alike began screaming and crying as human flesh flew through the air, which also became filled with plumes of white smoke.
“Somebody’s leg flew by my head,” spectator John Ross told reporters. “I gave my belt to stop the blood.”
“We started grabbing tourniquets and started tying legs,” said Roupen Bastajian, a policeman from Rhode Island who participated in the race. “A lot of people amputated … [many] have at least one leg missing, or an ankle missing, or two legs missing.”
“We saw two big puffs. I thought maybe it was fireworks. Then it went off again. And then all of a sudden we heard people crying and running away. It was a huge horde of people just running away,” added Serghino Rene, who was a few blocks from the blast. “We just got away from the scene and away from tall buildings.”
Boston Herald reporter Chris Cassidy had also been running in the marathon, and was a witness the bombings and the terror that followed.
“I saw two explosions. The first one was beyond the finish line. I heard a loud bang and I saw smoke rising,” he said. “I kept running and I heard behind me a loud bang. It looked like it was in a trash can or something. … There are people who have been hit with debris, people with bloody foreheads.”
Nearly 150 people are estimated as sustaining injuries as a result of the attack on the marathon. Many were escorted out of the area in wheelchairs as paramedics and other first responders arrived on the scene.
Approximately an hour and a half after the explosions, a third blast shook the John F. Kennedy Library. No one was reported to have been hurt at the location.
“We heard two really large explosions in rapid succession, about a second apart from each other,” stated Will Ritter, spokesperson for Massachusetts Senatorial candidate Gabriel Gomez, who was in the race. “Everybody kind of ducked and hit the ground.”
He recalled the sight of police and fire crews rushing to the scene as the explosion rocked the area.
Massachusetts General Hospital is stated to be currently treating a number of the injuries, with six patients reported to be in critical condition. Tufts Medical Center has been assisting the wounded throughout the afternoon as well.
According to reports, police believe that there were multiple explosive devices planted throughout the area, some of which they are currently working to dismantle. Further details will be provided as released by authorities and investigators.
“We are currently in contact with federal, state and city officials,” Governor Deval Patrick wrote on Twitter following the blasts.
Boston officials are taking extra precautions throughout the city, as well as government leaders in various cities throughout the nation, such as in New York City, where counter-terrorism vehicles have been stationed around various historical sites.
A suspect has not yet been named, but authorities are urging those with information to promptly notify the police.
Last Updated: 04/16/13 12:55 p.m. EST