BOSTON - Simultaneous explosions just before 3 p.m. Monday a short distance apart near the crowded finish line of the Boston Marathon injured dozens, with two deaths reported, and were later followed by an incident miles away at the John F. Kennedy Library in Dorchester.
“We’ve had a horrific attack here in Boston this afternoon,” Gov. Deval Patrick said at a late afternoon press conference.
The explosions on Boylston Street occurred between 50 to 100 yards apart at 2:50 p.m., according to Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis. “Each scene resulted in multiple casualties,” said Davis.
“We have at this point in time determined that there has been a third incident that has occurred,” said Davis. “There was an explosion that occurred at the JFK Library. So this is very much an ongoing event at this point in time.
“We are not certain that these incidents are related but we are treating them as if they are. We’re recommending to people that they stay home, that if they are in hotels in the area that they return to their rooms and that they don’t go anyplace and congregate in larger crowds.”
Davis at a later press conference said the incident at the JFK Library involved an “incendiary device” or a fire. He said just before 6 p.m. that reports of a suspect in custody were “not true.”
Asked if he considered it a terrorist attack, Davis said, “We’re not being definitive on this right now. You can reach your own conclusions based upon what happened.”
Bags and parcels discarded as crowds dispersed are being treated as suspicious devices, Davis said.
Families of victims or who are trying to locate people should call 1-617-635-4500, Davis said.
Anyone with information about the incident should call 1-800-494-TIPS, Davis said.
“People should be calm but they should understand that this is an ongoing event and they should understand that we need all the information that we can get available to us,” Davis said.
President Barack Obama called Gov. Patrick and assured him the cooperation of the FBI. Patrick said the State Police and the National Guard were fully deployed.
Statements poured in late Monday from elected officials.
"I am shocked at the horrific and unconscionable attacks that took place today against our city,” said Senate President Therese Murray. “My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families, and all who were near the explosions. Thank you to the volunteers and first responders for their courage in the face of this unexpected event, and to the medical professionals who are taking care of those who were injured."
Said House Speaker Robert DeLeo: "Today is a day of tragedy for our city and state. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by these events. I have contacted Governor Patrick and offered the fullest assistance of the House of Representatives as needed. The spirit of the Boston Marathon has long defined our region and can never be extinguished."
Congressman Edward Markey suspended activity in his campaign for U.S. Senate this afternoon in response to the attack, “including canvassing, phone banking, fundraising and television advertisements.”