As it happened: Boston Marathon explosions

Key points

  • Two explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon - the oldest and most prestigious race of its kind in the US - have left at least three people dead and more than 100 injured
  • The road was strewn with debris, and bloodied runners and spectators were treated at the scene; Boston's police commissioner urged city residents to stay indoors
  • US President Barack Obama said it was not known what caused the blasts but vowed any group found to be responsible would feel the "full weight of justice"

Live text

Reporting:

  • Sarah Bell 
  • Taylor Brown 
  • Nigel Pankhurst 

Last updated 16 April 2013

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Two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon have left an unknown number of people injured.

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Video and photographs from Boston show a scene of confusion, with emergency services descending on the scene and bloodied spectators being taken to a medical tent.

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The incident reportedly came about three hours after the winners crossed the line.

AP news agency reported there was a loud explosion on the north side of Boylston Street, just before the bridge that marks the finish line. Another loud explosion could be heard a few seconds later.

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The Eastern Massachusetts branch of the Red Cross has set up a disaster response centre in the area.

TWEET

RedCrossEasternMA, The American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts

tweets: Please check in with friends & family who were at the #BostonMarathon #BostonMarathon2013. Reconnect. Spread the word make sure ppl are safe

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Mike Mitchell of Vancouver, Canada, a runner who had finished the race told the Reuters news agency he was looking back at the finish line and saw a "massive explosion."

Smoke rose 50 feet (15 metres) in the air, he said.

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Mr Mitchell said people began running and screaming after hearing the noise.

"Everybody freaked out," he said.

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New York Police are deploying counter-terrorism police around Manhattan landmarks, reports say. NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said police were stepping up security in response to the Boston blasts.

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Zara Bielkus, a 30-year-old spectator from Boston, tells AFP news agency she heard two explosions seconds apart. Police then locked down the area.

"When we heard them, everyone looked at each other and went very quiet, and within a minute police came," she says.

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One witness, Laura McLean tells AP: "There are people who are really, really bloody."

She was in the medical tent being treated for dehydration when she was pulled out to make room for victims of the explosions.