Two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing two people and injuring at least 23 others in a terrifying scene of broken glass, smoke and severed limbs at the world’s oldest and most prestigious marathon, authorities said.
A third blast rocked the John F. Kennedy Library several miles (kilometres) away and more than an hour later, but no injuries were reported, police said. A senior U.S. intelligence official said two other explosive devices were found near the marathon finish line.
There was no immediate word on the motive or who may have launched the attack and authorities in Washington said there was no immediate claim of responsibility. Some 27,000 runners took part in the 26.2-mile (42-kilometre) race.
The twin blasts at the race took place almost simultaneously and about 100 metres apart, tearing limbs off numerous people, knocking spectators and at least one runner off their feet, shattering windows and sending smoke rising over the street.
As people wailed in agony, bloody spectators were carried to a medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is offering his thoughts and prayers to the victims of the explosions that have devastated the Boston Marathon.
Harper says it’s a sad day when such an inspiring event is clouded by “such senseless violence.”
He says Canadians are standing with their American neighbours.
New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair is also offering his condolences to the victims, their families and all Americans.
Canadians in Boston requiring emergency assistance are being urged to contact the consulate general at (617) 247-5100.
Friends and relatives seeking information on Canadian citizens believed to be in the area are asked to contact 1-800-387-3124 or sos(at)international.gc.ca.