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Triumph turns to terror in Boston

Locals running in the race are reportedly OK.

Runners continue to run towards the finish line of the Boston Marathon as an explosion erupts near the finish line of the race. Two simultaneous explosions ripped through the crowd on Monday, killing at least three people and injuring dozens on a day when tens of thousands of people pack the streets to watch the world famous race.

Runners continue to run towards the finish line of the Boston Marathon as an explosion erupts near the finish line of the race. Two simultaneous explosions ripped through the crowd on Monday, killing at least three people and injuring dozens on a day when tens of thousands of people pack the streets to watch the world famous race.

BOSTON — Two bombs ripped through the crowd at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing three people, causing several amputations and injuring more than 100 in what a White House official said would be handled as an “act of terror.”

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It was the worst bombing on U.S. soil since security was tightened after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and President Barack Obama promised to hunt down whoever was responsible for the attack on a day when tens of thousands of spectators packed the streets to watch the world-famous race.

No one has been arrested and the White House official said it would have to be determined whether the attack came from a foreign or domestic source.

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Americus resident Charlene Pennymon after finishing the Boston Marathon near where an explosion has rocked central Boston. SOURCE: Facebook.

Local runners safe in Boston

As explosions hit the Boston Marathon as runners crossed the finish line on Monday, killing at leastthree people and injuring an estimated 100 people on a day when tens of thousands of people pack the streets to watch perhaps the world’s best known marathon.

Police also reported another explosion at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, which is three miles from the marathon’s finishing line.

Locals running in the race have reportedly escaped without injury.

Dr. Jose Tongol of Albany, who ran in the race Monday, was not injured and said that he was “doing OK,” after the race.

Tift County High School teacher Mike Beeman was running his 36th consecutive Boston Marathon Monday. Officials at Tift County High School say that they have confirmed that he was in Boston but have not heard from him since he started the race.

Beeman’s ex-wife, Maria Abad, posted a status about Beeman on her Facebook page after speaking with him.

“Mike was at mile 25.8 at the time of the first explosion. The explosion was 100 yards in front of Mike. Melanie (their daughter) was two blocks away. I just spoke to him and Melanie separately. Praise God, they are both safe,” the statement reads.

Americus resident Charlene Pennymon had just crossed the finish line and was up the street when the explosion happened, according to her friends. She is uninjured but saw shards of glass and debris go flying from the area.

She crossed the finish line at 3 hours and 53 minutes. The bombs went off at 4 hours and nine minutes according to the Boston Marathon website.

— J.D. Sumner

Many runners were heading for the finish when a fireball and smoke rose from behind cheering spectators and a row of flags representing the countries of participants, video from the scene showed.

The cheers turned to screams and panic.

NY Police Stepping Up Security After Boston Marathon Explosion

The New York Police Department has stepped up security around landmarks in Manhattan, including near prominent hotels, in response to at least one explosion near the finish line of the Boston marathon on Monday, said Paul Browne, deputy commissioner of the NYPD.

Browne told Reuters that New York police were re-deploying counter-terrorism vehicles around the city.

“I saw people who looked like they had their legs blown off. There was a lot of blood over their legs. Then people were being pushed in wheelchairs,” said Joe Anderson, 33, a fisherman from Pembroke, Massachusetts, who had just run the race holding a large U.S. flag.

A Rhode Island state trooper told The New York Times body parts littered the scene.

“These runners just finished and they don’t have legs now,” Roupen Bastajian said. “So many of them. There are so many people without legs. It’s all blood. There’s blood everywhere. You got bones, fragments. It’s disgusting. It’s like a war zone.”

Ambulances, fire trucks and dozens of police vehicles converged at the scene, and spectators could be seen crying and consoling each other.

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Reuters News Service

A couple walks down Boylston Street away from the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday. Two bombs ripped through the crowd at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing two people and injuring dozens with some victims suffering amputations in what a White House official said would be handled as an "act of terror."

The dead included an 8-year-old boy, the Boston Globe reported, citing two law enforcement sources briefed on the investigation.

A 2-year-old was being treated with a head injury at Boston Children’s Hospital, the hospital said in a statement.

“It sounded like a sonic boom. I haven’t stopped shaking yet,” said Melissa Stanley, who watched her daughter cross the finish line four minutes before the explosions.

The blasts put police on alert in major cities across the United States, including in Washington, D.C. and New York City, sites of the Sept. 11 attacks.

“These were powerful devices that resulted in serious injury,” Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis told reporters.

On Monday night, Davis said at least three people died and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said more than 100 people were wounded.

FBI Boston Special Agent In Charge Richard DesLauriers declined at a news conference to comment on media reports that police found several unexploded devices at the scene.

About an hour after the 2:50 p.m. blasts in Boston’s Copley Square marred the usually joyous end to the marathon, a fire erupted at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library three miles away, but no one was injured, police said. Authorities were uncertain whether the fire was related, Davis said.

In Washington, Obama told reporters, “Make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this and we will find out who did this.”

He said “any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.”

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Justice Department, Homeland Security Department and other agencies were all investigating, authorities said.

Various officials in the United States and other countries reacted to the blasts

“ACT OF TERROR”

Without knowing who perpetrated the attack, the White House said it was handling the incident as “an act of terror.”

“Any event with multiple explosive devices - as this appears to be - is clearly an act of terror, and will be approached as an act of terror,” a White House official said.

The two explosions were about 50 to 100 yards apart as runners crossed the finish line with a timer showing 4 hours and 9 minutes, some 9 minutes faster than the average finish time, as reported by Runner’s World magazine.

Spectators typically line the 26.2 mile race course, with the heaviest crowds near the finish line.

Mike Mitchell of Vancouver, Canada, a runner who had finished the race, said he was looking back at the finish line and saw a “massive explosion.”

Smoke rose 50 feet in the air, Mitchell said. People began running and screaming after hearing the noise, Mitchell said.

“Everybody freaked out,” Mitchell said.

The Boston Marathon has been held on Patriots’ Day, the third Monday of April, since 1897. The event, which starts in Hopkinton, Massachusetts and ends in Boston’s Copley Square, attracts an estimated half-million spectators and some 20,000 participants every year.

Earlier on Monday, Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa and Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo won the men’s and women’s events, continuing African runners’ dominance in the sport.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra cancelled Monday night’s concert and the National Hockey League’s Boston Bruins canceled their home game against the Ottawa Senators. The Boston Red Sox had completed their Major League Baseball game at Fenway Park before the explosions.

Comments

VSU 1 year, 3 months ago

Obama needs to hurry up and get our guns off the streets. The other day 14 people got wounded in a knife attack at a Houston area college, and now this explosion at the Boston marathon. These events would not have happened if our guns were taken away.

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J.D._Sumner 1 year, 3 months ago

One could make the argument that guns have been perfectly legal and yet no one with a gun managed to prevent either incident...

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VSU 1 year, 3 months ago

The point I was making as I have stated in the past. Too many people want to outlaw guns saying too many killings by guns and point to the gun as the culprit and not the person shooting the gun. In these two cases the gun was not used to wound multiple people. So instead of focasing on guns, they need to focas on the individuals that pull off these events.

It wasn't the gun they killed people, it was the person shooting the gun.

It wasn't the knife that wounded 14 people in Houston, it was the person using the knife.

It wasn't the explosive device that walked up to the area that exploded at the Boston marathon, it was the person or people responsible for putting it there and setting it off.

Focas on people, not the weapon of choice.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 3 months ago

I think you missed JD's point that often times guns and more guns just don't make us safe.

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VSU 1 year, 3 months ago

I think JD missed the point that guns would not have prevented the bombing. I also think JD missed my point that people are focasing on guns and not the real problem. Human Beings!!!!! So in all due respect I don't think I missed anything.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 3 months ago

It's a good thing that O'Bama was not hurrying off to a campaign event like when Benghazi happened so the White House can issue still photos of Him on the phone and looking anxious and "in charge" on this one. Unlike Benghazi. Well done, White House photogs!

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WTFwtf 1 year, 3 months ago

So sad and unnecessary. U ever met a violent pot user? Theres not many. Isnt there a bible verse about god giving us all the seed bearing plants and herbs for us to use? Bible thumpers pls confirm

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AnotherMom 1 year, 3 months ago

I agree with VSU. We certainly need laws but laws alone can only do so much. If we follow the logic of those who want to outlaw the gun that was used in the New Town shootings, then we need to outlaw the particular knife used in the stabbings at the Texas college last week and the bombs used today in Boston. Also, a gun would have done no good against bombs.

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VSU 1 year, 3 months ago

Good point AnotherMom, if the bomb was already in place, a gun would have been useless.

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Somebody 1 year, 3 months ago

So they are saying this is a terrorist act. Under Obama, America has let their guard down. Do y'all feel safe under the Obama administration? Is this the first of many to come? Wasn't it people like bubbasmithredneck that said Al Qaeda was dead and couldn't harm us? well just a few months ago our US ambassador was killed in an Al Qaeda attack and Obama and company tried to lead us to believe it was just a protest over a movie. So this could possibly be another Al Qaeda attack. Is Obama going to say this is just another protest? What is Obama going to do to prevent this from happening again?

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free_ur_mind 1 year, 3 months ago

VSU should be condemned for politicizing this tragedy with politics that are totally unrelated to this event. Whether Americans had unlimited access to guns or if it was totally prohibited, you could not prevent a terrorist act, such as this from occurring. Of course, if a liberal had made a similar comment about how this was the "chickens coming home to roost", then he would be chastised. We should be ashamed.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 3 months ago

"VSU should be condemned for politicizing this tragedy "

Politicizing................You mean like flying Air Force One to Connecticut and Colorado to make anti-gun speeches? You mean like putting a New Town Connecticut parent on the radio to make the weekly fireside chat usually done by the President? You mean politicizing like THAT? BECAUSE THAT, MY FRIEND, IS RAW, NAKED POLITICIZING OF A NATIONAL TRAJEDY which is foisted on the USA by the President Barack O'Bama!

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VSU 1 year, 3 months ago

Consider me condemned for telling the truth. People seemed to think president Bush could have prevented 911 too, so there you go. Speaking of Bush, I imagine Obama and the democrats will put the blame on Bush for this attack as well.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 3 months ago

We might have prevented 9-11 if Bush would have stopped taking vacation days and done some work.

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VSU 1 year, 3 months ago

What work did Obama do to prevent this tragedy?

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 3 months ago

Less than 24 hours from the event I have no way of answering that question. I believe Dubya's shortcoming have been well documented.

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VSU 1 year, 3 months ago

Just saying Obumya was unsuccessful at preventing this incident regardless if he was on vacation or not. Remember 911 when they said we would never forget? Well apparently someone forgot. someone dropped the ball.

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WTFwtf 1 year, 3 months ago

How much more money do u want to spend legislating morality instead of going after violent criminals? Its cowardly and selfish to keep outlawing things lile gay marrage, pot, yer gran daddys rifle, etc. while we could otherwise make our country safer with all that money n energy.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 3 months ago

Great job, White House......getting out ahead of this one by calling it "An Act Of Terrorism" even though you don't have a clue what happened yet! Don't want another Benghazi here, do we, O'Bama Political Advisors?

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Somebody 1 year, 3 months ago

This is what happens when you have an incompetent president that targets the wrong issues. How did that bomb get planted unnoticed? Where was the security? They knew the Boston marathon was going to happen. Why was the perpetrators more prepared for it than the Boston police? Maybe this is a result of our own distorted government.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 3 months ago

It was at a 26 mile course with tens of thousands of runners and spectators. Nearly impossible to prevent something like this. This is not like protecting a ball field.

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VSU 1 year, 3 months ago

What about the finish line? Wouldn't that have seemed like a logical place to plant a bomb? Hmmmm apparently the person or persons who planted it there did.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 3 months ago

I would think that anywhere along the course would allow deadly results, but as you said, the finish line area would have the most negative impact due to on-lookers congregating. Hindsight is 20/20, though.

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free_ur_mind 1 year, 3 months ago

VSU, everyone is going to second guess presidents, just like they criticize quarterbacks. As we look into the future, we will see if President Obama's administration made key mistakes in not acting on key intelligence. Looking back on President Bush, we know that there were opportunities for Bush's administration to act on intelligence, but didn't. However, I'll cut him some slack because it was early in his term and they were just getting their feet wet. However, intelligence gathering is essential to stopping terrorist attacks, so that's a reasonable criticism. But inferring that excessive gun laws or loose gun laws play a role in any terrorist attack is delusional truth. Just stating that irrelevant topic politicizes a sensitive event. Of course, Republicans will politicize this event by having hearings that aim at getting at the truth. That's fine because Democrats would have done the same if Romney was president. That's just how politics are played these days. As for me, I'm sick of it.

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VSU 1 year, 3 months ago

It's not all about gun laws, it's about not focasing on the real issues. Just like this Boston marathon, seems to me the security could have been better, seems kind of careless that 3 or 4 bombs were put in place without being noticed. Their should have been tighter security. Luckily only two of them went off. I guess some folks thought terrorism in the U.S. has gone away, but this just proves that if you lighten up just a little, something bad can happen and unfortunely this time it did. So instead of focasing on the guns, they need to focas on the real problem. Human beings! I've said it before, people will always find a way to kill.

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VSU 1 year, 3 months ago

My thoughts and prayers to the runners and to family members of the runners and to anyone getting hurt by this incident. I understand some were from SW Georgia (Tifton, Cairo, Americus & Albany) Get well and may God bless you.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 3 months ago

Our first, major and only thoughts on the incident should be sympathy for the injured, support for the Boston Community and encouragement for the law enforcement investigating this awful violent crime.

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RedEric 1 year, 3 months ago

Great sympathy for the relatives of the dead and the injured themselves. Do all we can for them and find out who did this. Terrorists do not respond to empathy and understanding. They only respond to force and strength. When the perps are found we need to scare the crap out of them. Kill them and everyone who knows their names. That should give us 10 years of peace.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 3 months ago

My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this disturbing act of unnecessary violence.

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