It is very important that facts rule a response to the atrocious bombing of Boston Marathon runners yesterday. As conspiracy theorists attempt to insert their own prejudice and hate into the equation, responsible news outlets and publications must do their best to provide the best information according to what we actually know. Thus far, the following facts have emerged about the bombing:
Two bombs went off and a possible third and fourth were defused. The two explosions happened near the finish line on Boylston Street, only hundreds of yards apart and over 5 hours into the race. According to the BBC:
The first explosion came at about 14:50 local time (18:50 GMT) on the north side of Boylston Street, about two hours after the winners crossed the line.
There was initial confusion and panic. Some runners fell to the floor while police and bystanders ran to help those caught in the blast.
Then seconds later, another explosion ripped into the crowd further away from the finishing line, about 170m from the first blast….
Unconfirmed reports said two other unexploded devices were found near the end of the race but were safely defused.
Three people are dead, and over 150 have been injured (although the number is still rising). Eight people are thought to be in critical condition. An eight year old boy, Martin Richard, was killed waiting for his father to finish the marathon. His mother and sister were seriously injured. According to the Huffington Post, 25 -30 people have at least one leg missing.
According to CNN, an apartment in Boston has been searched and items removed. There is still no official suspect.
According to the Guardian, police questioned two male Saudi Arabian students this morning:
Speaking beforehand, one of the men told the Guardian he was there to meet a friend who lived on the fifth floor. Police examined the men’s passports and appeared to make telephone calls before escorting them into the elevator.
CBS reports that a civilian tackled one of the students after noticing ‘suspicious behavior’, but that: “The person in custody is not charged and not under arrest. He is being cooperative, answering their questions, and denying involvement.”
The White House stated that the bombings would be treated as “An act of terror”. President Barack Obama stated that: ”We will find out who did this. We’ll find out why they did this.. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice.”
According to Reuters, local hospitals have been treating lots of shrapnel injuries, indicating the the bombs were designed to maim:
Hospitals in the Boston area were planning surgeries for some of the victims, many of whom sustained lower leg injuries in the blasts, said Peter Fagenholz, a trauma surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital.
“We’re seeing a lot of shrapnel injuries” from small metal debris, Fagenholz told reporters outside the hospital. Doctors treated 29 people, of whom eight were in a critical condition.
Below is footage of the immediate aftermath. The enormous bravery that so many people showed in rushing to help those caught in the blast with almost no regard for their own safety is absolutely astonishing: