Three dead, including 8-year-old, following Marathon bombing - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Three dead, including 8-year-old, following Boston Marathon bombing

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BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) – Three people, including an 8-year-old boy, are among the dead following a bombing at the Boston Marathon finish line.

The fiery twin blasts took place about 10 seconds and about 100 yards apart on the north side of Boylston Street, knocking spectators and at least one runner off their feet, shattering windows and sending dense plumes of smoke rising over the street and through the fluttering national flags lining the course. Blood stained the pavement, and huge shards were missing from window panes as high as three stories.

Police said three people were killed. An 8-year-old boy was among the dead. A FOX 25 source has confirmed the boy is Martin Richard, of Dorchester. The boy was at the finish line Monday with his mother and sister, watching the marathon and cheering on his father who was running in the race. The boy's neighbors in the Ashmont section of Dorchester were stunned to learn about his death. They paid tribute to the little boy by writing "PEACE" on a walkway.

Hospitals reported at least 144 people injured, at least 17 of them critically. The victims' injuries included broken bones, shrapnel wounds and ruptured eardrums.

Authorities shed no light on a motive or who may have carried out the bombings, and police said they had no suspects in custody. Authorities in Washington said there was no immediate claim of responsibility. The FBI took charge of the investigation.

President Barack Obama did not use the words "terror" or "terrorism" as he spoke at the White House Monday after the deadly bombings, but an administration official said the attack was being treated as an act of terrorism.

Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said officers were painstakingly searching through bags and debris that had been left behind by fleeing marathon watchers to determine if there were any more explosive devices.

Fox 25's Maria Stephanos, whose husband had just completed the race, was near the finish line when the blasts shattered the atmosphere of euphoria. She said it appeared that one of the explosions appeared to come from the inside of a building, possibly Marathon Sports.

"I was right there, I saw a plume of smoke coming from a building," said Stephanos.

Bloody spectators were being carried to the medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners.

Dr. Adrienne Wald, a nursing program director at UMass Boston, said her group of 30 nursing students were at the finish line assisting race finishers when the bombs went off.

"They did what they were trained to do," said Wald. "Instead of running away, they ran to help."

She said her students assisted at least one person whose leg had been amputated.

"It was a gory, gruesome scene that my students shouldn't have seen at this point in their careers," said Wald. "Who could ever be prepared for this?"

"They just started bringing people in with no limbs," said runner Tim Davey, of Richmond, Va. He said he and his wife, Lisa, tried to keep their children's eyes shielded from the gruesome scene inside a medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners, but "they saw a lot."

"They just kept filling up with more and more casualties," Lisa Davey said. "Most everybody was conscious. They were very dazed."

As many as two unexploded bombs were also found near the end of the 26.2-mile course as part of what appeared to be a well-coordinated attack, but they were safely disarmed, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation.

Speaking just after 6 p.m., President Barack Obama said that all Americans stand with Boston.

"We still do not know who did this and why," said Obama. "Make no mistake we will get to the bottom of this. Any responsible individuals; any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice."

"The American people will say a prayer for the people of Boston tonight," said Obama.

The attack may have been timed for maximum carnage: The four-hour mark is typically a crowded time near the finish line because of the slow-but-steady recreational runners completing the race and because of all the friends and relatives clustered around to cheer them on.

A woman who was a few feet from the second bomb, Brighid Wall, 35, of Duxbury, said that when it exploded, runners and spectators froze, unsure of what to do. Her husband threw their children to the ground, lay on top of them and another man lay on top of them and said, "Don't get up, don't get up."

After a minute or so without another explosion, Wall said, she and her family headed to a Starbucks and out the back door through an alley. Around them, the windows of the bars and restaurants were blown out.

She said she saw six to eight people bleeding profusely, including one man who was kneeling, dazed, with blood trickling down his head. Another person was on the ground covered in blood and not moving.

"My ears are zinging. Their ears are zinging," Wall said. "It was so forceful. It knocked us to the ground."

An approximately 15 block area around the blast site would be closed through at least Tuesday, Davis said. Officials also said that people riding the T on Tuesday would be subject to random bag searches.

The Boston Marathon was suspended and runners were stopped at mile 26.

The Massachusetts Ave bridge was closed and the MBTA had suspended service on the B and C lines of the Green Line. Flights at Boston Logan Airport were grounded for a time as the runway configuration was changed to accommodate a restricted fly zone over the city.

Davis advised people in the Back Bay to head home or back to their hotels. He said people should avoid congregating in large crowds Monday.

Anyone who may be looking to locate a loved one from the Marathon should call 617-635-4500. Anyone with information about the attacks was asked to call 1-800-494-TIPS.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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