Bombs Go Off At Marathon Finish Line

Two bombs went off on Boylston Street near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday afternoon. The Boston Globe has reported that three people have died, including 8-year-old Martin Richard from Dorchester and 29-year-old Krystle Campbell from Arlington, while at least 140 people are injured and being treated in area hospitals. According to the Globe, two other devices were found and dismantled.

The Boston Police Department also announced that the fire at JFK Library around 4:30  p.m. on Monday was likely the result of a mechanical fire from an incendiary device, rather than a blast, and no conclusive evidence has linked the fire to the bombings on Boylston Street.

According to a release issued by the Office of News and Public Affairs on Tuesday morning, two graduate students at Boston College–Liza Cherney, GCSOM ’13 and Brittany Loring, BC Law ’13–were among those hospitalized for injuries sustained after the explosions.

The first explosion was reported to have gone off around 2:50 p.m. Police officers closed off Comm. Ave. shortly after 3:15, barricading the road and instructing runners to stop. Boston Police at Mile 21 confirmed that there were multiple injuries.”They just told us to close down the race,” one officer said. Runners who had already passed Boston College were diverted before they arrived at the finish line.

“I’m just blown away,” said Wayne DelCorral, a runner from New Orleans. “Such a tragedy. Unreal.”

“My husband was worried about me and said the race was over,” said Susan Bond, a runner from Hope Valley. “I thought he was joking.”

Several buses left the area in front of St. Ignatius shortly before 4:30, bound for Tufts and BC Law, among other areas.

“It’s sad for the people who are affected by this, for sure,” said Dave Jimenez, a runner from Dallas. “The race is important but hardly matters by comparison.”

Eagle EMS volunteers gave out solar blankets while bystanders lent their phones to runners, who are currently waiting inside St. Ignatius Church to warm up. ResLife officials worked with on-scene officers from BCPD, BPD, and the Massachusetts State Police, as well as volunteers, to get food and blankets to the runners. Oxygen tanks and water were also being carried into the church, where at least 400 people were receiving medical attention. Buses brought more runners from mile 21.1 and 21.7 to St. Ignatius as well. “We’re just keeping the runners safe and warm until we know more about what’s going on,” said Associate Director of ResLife Catherine-Mary Rivera. “We just needed to get them into the church after they stopped running so abruptly.”

Director of ResLife George Arey confirmed that University staff were working to support the runners present as they waited to find out more information. BCPD officers at the scene declined to comment.

“St. Ignatius has been opened to those runners who need medical attention,” said University Spokesman Jack Dunn. “BCPD is assisting the police in Newton and on campus. As of now there’s no way to ascertain who was injured–the city can’t release those names until the families have been notified. The best hope is for people to use cell phones to contact their friends.”

UGBC president Chris Osnato, A&S ’13, reported around 6 p.m. that he had walked through the Mods, checking on residents, and had moved on to Campion Hall to help out at the Campus School. “I hope all students stay inside, stay safe,” he said. “We’re going to work through this no matter what.”

A Google Doc was created with the names of the several hundred BC students running for the Campus School, asking students to enter in whether or not they have heard from the runners. So many people accessed the document in its first hour live that the page continually overloaded. Most of the runners have been accounted for at this point.

The Office of News and Public Affairs issued a statement about the bombing slightly after 5:30 p.m. “Boston College Police have stated that they see no threat to the BC campus, but ask all members of the BC community to remain vigilant,” the release read. “Newton Police have established their command center in front of St Ignatius Church to coordinate their outreach.”

President Barack Obama addressed the nation at 6:10 p.m. “We don’t yet have all the answers … we are mobilizing the appropriate resources to investigate and respond,” Obama said. “We don’t know who did this or why, and people shouldn’t jump to conclusions … Boston is a tough and resilient town, and so are its people.” He emphasized that any responsible parties would be found and held accountable.

Staff from ResLife, Campus Ministry, and Counseling Services have created centers in Vanderslice Hall’s Cabaret Room and the Stayer Hall lounge for students who wish to speak to campus ministers or counselors.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that at least five other, undetonated devices were found along the marathon route. The FBI has taken the lead in investigating the bombing, and no suspects are in custody as of yet.

Shortly before 10 p.m. on Monday, the office of Mayor Thomas M. Menino issued a media advisory. “A crime scene perimeter has been established in the Back Bay,” the release read. “Tomorrow, and likely remaining for several days, Boylston Street will be closed to traffic and pedestrians from Berkley Street to Massachusetts Avenue. All side streets along Boylston Street will also be closed from Huntington Avenue to Newbury Street. Buildings will be inaccessible while the crime scene is active. The city is working to provide shelter services to any displaced residents.”

Heights Editor Ryan Towey contributed to this report.

April 15, 2013