Three killed in Boston Marathon explosions

Two are dead and over 90 injured after explosions at the Boston Marathon

Two killed in Boston Marathon explosions

At least three people are dead and dozens of others injured after multiple bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The blasts occurred just before 3pm local time, or 5am AEST this morning. A third blast was heard an hour later. There are also reports of another explosion at the JFK Library, just south of Boston.

At about 7am AEST this morning Josh Elliot at the ABC has tweeted that:
MassGen ER doc says they've done multiple amputations; number of patients could be as high as 25; police using term "pipe bombs" w/ staff.

The city is currently in lockdown. Two top Australian marathon athletes, Jeffrey Hunt and Kurt Fearnley, have both escaped injury. Iconic Australian marathon runner Robert de Castella was also at the event, where he was mentoring a group of indigenous runners.

Robert de Castella has described the situation as ‘chaotic’. “[It] actually sounded like enormous thunderclaps, and you could feel the vibrations through the room,” he said. “No one was really sure what was going on, it was pretty chaotic. A lot of the organisers from the Boston Athletic Association who organise this event were pretty shattered…It’s a terrible thing to witness, to realise that this sort of thing can take place.” You can read the full article at the Sydney Morning Herald.

As the blasts went off during the event approximately 10,000 competitors were still running. There are reports of runners still crossing the finish line and continuing on to the Massachusetts General Hospital to donate blood for victims.

Held on Patriot’s Day each year, the Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest marathon. It began in 1897 and is considered the most prestigious marathon in the USA.

Current toll: two dead, 64 injured with six in an extremely critical condition, as of 7:15am AEST

Update: As of 7:40am AEST the Boston Globe was reporting more than 90 injured.

Update: As of 8:30am AEST the Herald Sun was reporting three dead.

If you are concerned for the safety of family or friends, you should contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) on 1300 555 135. Google has also created a ‘Person finder’ for the Boston Marathon explosions. You can register that you are looking for someone, or put up any information you have, at the Google Person Finder website. 

You can get live updates on the Boston Marathon explosions at The Age website. 


Opinion: Are mass gatherings now a no-go?

This is not a divisive issue so there is little need for an opinion. But here are my thoughts in the wake of this seemingly needless and tragic event.

What has happened in Boston is terrible. It wasn’t the military or high-ranking officials who were targeted during this attack – it was regular people like you and me. I think it’s sad that we live in a world where it seems we should second-guess the safety of congregating en-masse. Are we supposed to feel uncomfortable going to the football, enjoying a music concert or even participating in a charity fun-run in light of this recent attack?

But, as David said when he walked into the office this morning, "This sort of thing happens every day in places like Syria. I’m just trying to give a more global view. If this had happened in, say, Sri Lanka, you wouldn’t have even heard about it."

And he may have a point. Perhaps we have become (or worse still, always were) desensitised to violent deaths in developing nations, yet highly sympathetic to what happens in white middle class areas.

With that in mind it feels important to note that Iraq is also recovering from a series of bombings which took place overnight. At least 55 people are dead after a series of coordinated car bomb attacks, the worst of which struck Baghdad. Iraq is currently preparing for its first elections since the American military withdrew.

What do you think? Is this attack only newsworthy because it happened in America? And does that make you feel concerned for your own safety when attending to big events?





    COMMENTS

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    ChrisJ
    16th Apr 2013
    11:09am
    This is just so sad that a group of people endeavouring to enjoy their lives innocently and without malice could be struck down to this extent. My thoughts go out to all Bostonians and especially to the families of those killed and injured in such a horrific way.
    Taskid
    16th Apr 2013
    11:32am
    ChrisJ A terrible thing to do to people - was it a terrorist or just a home grown thug?
    ChrisJ
    16th Apr 2013
    11:40am
    I dont think they know yet Taskid.. But I'd be thinking the full force of american law enforcement would be trying to find out very quickly..
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2013
    3:16pm
    My thoughts ALSO go out to the 50 people killed and the 300 injured in IRAQ at the same time. For some inexplicable reason, that has not hit the headlines.
    ChrisJ
    17th Apr 2013
    9:26am
    The key statement here is "that has not hit the headlines". I don't think we can blame the government or the citizens of australia for our media not reporting any information about such a horrid thing happening in Iraq. We get our information from the tv, radio, newspapers and of course the internet and if the people who decide what will be reported in those medium don't include that information then we tend only to see what they want us to see. Perhaps we can partly take the blame for not trying to keep better informed but in this world of fast moving busy people its usually easier to turn on the news and watch that and think ok i'm informed now and not think about what hasn't been reported. The Media have a lot to answer for it seems.

    16th Apr 2013
    11:54am
    Another case for capital punishment...whether terrorists or home grown fruitcakes..as in the Oklahoma bombing years ago....and the USA has plenty of them.....punishment should be death for all murderers. Harsh you might argue; but God has given this penalty for those who murder.

    What next ? may we ask, the London or Sydney marathons, the Tour De France, Olympics

    I know the USA has the death penalty in some States and other States have reinstated it after trying the bleeding heart - do gooder approach. WHEN this sort of thing begins in Australia our Govt better get a backbone and bring capital punishment back.

    Also the American conspiracy theorists...(another lot of fruitcakes) who see a demon behind every bush....will now claim the USA Govt did it so as to blame North Korea and give them a reason to invade.
    Taskid
    16th Apr 2013
    1:44pm
    PIXAPD Murder by the State in the form of capital punishment is never an answer. It just brutalises the State to the same mentality as the murderers. Anyway, the law is not infallible and many innocent people have been murdered by the State.
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2013
    3:27pm
    The death penalty has stopped nothing.... except to kill those that are innocent, as well as those that were not. New DNA testing has seen an extraordinary amount of people on death row being released.

    Additionally, what do you do when the likes of GW Bush and the person holding his leash, Chaney are the ones slaughtering innocent civilians (hundreds of thousands of them), and merely calling it COLLATERAL DAMAGE.
    Is that okay to slaughter babies, children, women and men just because their country has oil and the leader of that country (installed by the USA) starts selling that oil in Euros instead of US dollars.
    To rain terror down from the skies, to destroy their infrastructure and contaminate their lands with the depleted uranium used in US weapons.
    To practice torture and condone its use by others for and on their behalf.

    They are still wandering around, Bush and Chaney, enjoying life to its fullest because they made lots and lots of extra wealth out of it all.
    Tom Tank
    16th Apr 2013
    3:36pm
    It has been shown time and again that capital punishment is not a deterrent. It is purely revenge and the Bible clearly states "Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord." Lets keep biblical statements out of this because you can find anything you like to support your point of view in the Bible.
    Taskid
    17th Apr 2013
    8:16am
    Tom Tank Why does a clear example of man's inhaminty to his own kind make it right to show disrespect to the Bible??
    Paddles
    16th Apr 2013
    1:07pm
    PIXAPD........It is all very well championing the reinstitution of capital punishment and, like a vast number of Aussies,I have no problem with it but it is, at best, a post incident response and the only object that it serves is to guarantee that the perpetrators don't do it again.
    The fact is that with these politically, racially or religiously motivated nutters, we have no useful sanction. They are willing (even happy) to sacrifice themselves in the pursuit of their particular "ism".
    More effective than putting them to death if they survive their own atrocities, is to direct our efforts into identifying them before they can act and, either ejecting them from this country or locking them up indefinitely.
    I am certain that we have the resources to identify them but we are constrained from doing so by the bend-over-backwards civil libertarians, Greenies and assorted bleeding hearts that seem to wield an influence with the Government that is out of proportion to their number. My email inbox is full of the horror stories about unbridled Muslim immigration in many countries of Europe along with the warning that we may well be heading down the same path. As it stands, the people who could actually do something about it are just as "precious" as that element of the community who are aghast at the thought of offending someone.
    My chief consolation in this whole affair is my advanced age but I fear for my successors.
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2013
    3:37pm
    The USA practices torture and condones the use of it, if it is done for and on their behalf.

    Given your statements above, you obviously think that the 'greenies and assorted bleeding hearts' should also allow the practice of these 'fine arts'.

    Let us all think back to when the West represented fairness and justice and when our boys suffered torture at the hands of the Japanese. If you can find one that is still alive ask him how it felt and if not him, then ask his kids because they also would have lived through and experienced the results of this disgusting practice.

    If you make it okay for us to do it, then you make it equally okay for everyone else to do it.

    16th Apr 2013
    1:50pm
    Taskid writes...."PIXAPD Murder by the State in the form of capital punishment is never an answer."

    Such are they who are responsible for murder, for opposing the death penalty they themselves share in the deeds of the murderers. Such ones must take it up with God who declared......"whosoever sheds mans blood, by man shall his blood also be shed"
    Taskid
    17th Apr 2013
    8:21am
    PIXAPD
    You might be a member of the Jewish religion as you refer to the Old Testament. I follow Jesus who said, "those who live by the sword shall die by the sword." He is the Prince of Peace. Man's sin is not repaired by the State adding more sin.
    professori_au
    16th Apr 2013
    2:32pm
    I too fear for our future generations. Australia was/is an English speaking country, yet the strange thing is that where I live the TV reception is so poor I can only get SBS stations speaking another language, e.g. Chinese, Japanese, German, Russian, etc. If SBS can transmit then why cannot other stations also transmit?

    As an English speaking country with laws based on our Constitution and that comes from the Magna Carta then anyone coming to this country to live should comply with those laws. Not to enforce their own laws and cultures that many have fled. I respect other people's religious beliefs but they need to respect our country and our laws and religions.
    Multi culture as such is failing.
    My belief is that if you come to this country then you accept our laws. If you cannot abide by them then go back to the country you left/fled. You came here for a better life and then appear to be prepared to destroy it. Not all migrants are like this thank god. It is the few rather than the majority. I believe we should respect all sexes, colours, creeds, races and religions but we need to respect our laws.
    sandyfaye
    16th Apr 2013
    2:36pm
    Mmmm! An eye for an eye? No! Maybe we need to act in an uncivilized manner such as those who perpetrate these bombings do. When they are found, behead them and place the head on a stick to remind others that this is the fate of those who break the law of humanity.
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2013
    3:07pm
    Why not, the USA calls illegal invasions based on known falsehoods and slaughtering hundreds of thousands of innocents, COLLATERAL DAMAGE. Should we start beheading Bush... or Chaney maybe and putting their heads on a stick, 'to remind others that this is the fate of those who break the law of humanity'.

    I guess the term law of humanity, is limited in its application.

    16th Apr 2013
    2:48pm
    Let me put it this way...... so as to be easily understood.....using a character from history

    If we had Henry VIII and folks did this evil and they were caught; Henry would have had them hanging from trees as decorations..... certain things are "worthy of death" and old King Henry VIII would not have been interested in the 'bleeding hearts'
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2013
    2:59pm
    What should we do with the USA who illegally invade and slaughter hundreds of thousands of civilians, for the control of oil and the sale of oil in US dollars which the USA calls COLLATERAL DAMAGE.

    Should this country, who practice torture, have to answer for their crimes in the same way.

    Do you think those responsible... Chaney or Bush.. just to name two, should be hung from trees, are they worthy of death, as you put it.
    Taskid
    17th Apr 2013
    8:26am
    PIXAPD HenryViii What an example of human idiocy to select for an example to support State murder. If I remember rightly he also murdered his wives once his lust was fixed on another woman. Not a very admirable example of the human race. One to be pitied if anything.

    16th Apr 2013
    2:54pm
    50 people were killed and 300 people injured in IRAQ, at the same time.

    Did you hear about it..... no I guess not. Some lives are obviously worth a lot, lot more than others.

    Do you think any of these Iraqi's hold a grudge.....I would..... the USA illegally invaded Iraq on 'known' false information, slaughtered about 600,000 civilians and the unrest and slaughter continues. All because Saddam Hussein controlled lots of oil and started selling his oil in Euros instead of US dollars.

    The slaughtering of hundreds of thousands of civilians (that includes children and women) and the total destruction of buildings and all infrastructure, not to mention the contamination from depleted uranium used in US weapons, is called COLLATERAL DAMAGE.

    As I said some lives are worth a lot, lot more than others...... Our Corporate (foreign) Owned media, tell us so.

    16th Apr 2013
    3:03pm
    Looks like SOMEONE missed 4 Corners last night
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2013
    4:14pm
    The USA were NOT duped. Chaney made a list of all the things they could do which would allow them to invade Iraq. On that list was a suggestion that they "find" weapons of mass destruction.

    Wikileaks has released this and many other documents that have NOT been refuted by the USA, although they are wanting to get hold of Julian Assange, an Australian who has done nothing wrong in Australia or the USA, to persecute him. They have already conducted Grand Jury proceeding against him. This court sounds wonderful doesn't it "Grand Jury" but it is a court that is the OPPOSITE of equity and fairness.
    Firstly, the prosecution selects the jury
    Secondly, the defendant does not need to be present
    Thirdly, the defendant, if present, does not have legal representation
    Fourthly, it is held in secret

    Wikileaks are releasing more and more documents that reveal government and corporation malfeasance and corruption.
    This is an exceptionally good thing, governments should be open and accountable to the people that they govern. Without it, governments can do and have done despicable things in OUR name.

    16th Apr 2013
    3:14pm
    Terrorists started it......but others will finish it.....acts of terrorism will NOT work...in fact ASIO may be interested in these pages.
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2013
    3:50pm
    What do you call the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of babies, children, women and men..... I know the US calls it COLLATERAL DAMAGE but another name for it is TERRORISM.

    You say that acts of terrorism will NOT work.... but it did. The USA got control of the oil and the oil is now sold in US dollars. Although the country the US stole all this from is devastated, infrastructure in disarray, water polluted, no electricity in many places - utter turmoil in the streets, poverty and homelessness.

    Oh! You don't have to worry about ASIO, I am a fifth generation white atheist Australian who is a well to do professional, I don't represent a problem UNLESS you think that FREE SPEECH should be a crime!!!!
    Taskid
    17th Apr 2013
    8:29am
    Mussitate Isn't your "freedom of speech" a bit selective you certainly did not respect my right to it.
    JJ
    16th Apr 2013
    3:17pm
    I am just as appalled by the bombings of ordinary civilians in any country as I am by the Boston bombing. No, our lives are worth no more or less than those in Iran, Syria, Sri Lanka and any country you care to name. Murder of civilians is murder in whatever language you like, and is inexcusable!! I watched Four Corners last night, and it only served to confirm what I was already sure of. I fear for the future of my own grandchildren, and feel guilty that so far I have been unaffected physically by this inhumanity by man toward his fellow man.
    Julkay
    16th Apr 2013
    11:16pm
    I agree JJ. I too fear for my grandchildren. Where is it all going to end? It will only get worse.

    16th Apr 2013
    3:56pm
    JJ
    You have restored my faith in humanity and I am so, so grateful that you are around.

    Your comment is exceptionally well put.

    I doff my plumed hat and bow to you, whoever you are.
    JJ
    16th Apr 2013
    4:04pm
    Thank you Mussitate. I wish the whole world could see it this way, then maybe the murdering and terrorism would stop! I don't understand the mentality of people who consider their own race or religion to be superior to any others.
    Paddles
    17th Apr 2013
    9:36am
    JJ............You're right on the money there but I don't think that it would fly in Mecca.

    16th Apr 2013
    4:01pm
    Atheists are FOOLS and the enemies of the gospel..as are Muslims, for Islam is of that ANTI CHRIST spirit.
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2013
    4:17pm
    I will have to change my jacket now, I have HATE spittle all over it.

    You wouldn't be from the USA would you..... Mid West maybe.
    Tom Tank
    16th Apr 2013
    9:54pm
    Funny statement that about Islam given that Jesus is one of Islam's major prophets and as such is held in high regard by Muslims. The problem arises when closed minds only spout what they want to believe without really understanding what they are talking about. There is none so blind as those who will not see.
    Taskid
    17th Apr 2013
    8:34am
    Tom Tank Islam has relegated Jesus to being a prophet calling him effectively a liar as He said of Himself He is the Son of God, this so they can elevate their own "prophet" Mohammed. That is not high regard, that is derision. You are so right about "there is none so blind as those who will not see" - take your own blinkers off.
    HOLA
    16th Apr 2013
    4:04pm
    President Obama refrained from using the word terrorist in his speech early this morning. It was a terrorist attack, the bomb was used to terrorise people, and when the perpetrators are caught, if ever, they do not deserve to have a fair trial, where the do-gooders try to get them all the legal help possible. It was such a cowardly act. Bombs are horrific in every country and it is usually the innocent people that have to suffer.
    JJ
    16th Apr 2013
    4:12pm
    Yes, too true. Any act like this is terrorism, even if perpetrated by a member of our own society. Of course it was done by a terrorist! It doesn't make any difference whether it was done for religious, political, racial or insanity reasons, the purpose and end results are still the same - to cause and create terror.
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2013
    4:33pm
    Hola

    Agreed all acts of terrorism are bad but some seem to be brushed over, even really big acts of terrorism, whilst others are brought to the forefront, even if small in comparison and heralded.

    I appreciate what you say in relation to terrorism.

    However, I disagree with you when you say they shouldn't have a fair trial and shouldn't have legal representation.

    We are citizens of a free and democratic country..... I'm talking about Australia and NOT the USA.

    We should always insist that EVERYONE gets a fair trial with adequate legal representation.

    That is the foundation of our DEMOCRACY, it is a fair and equitable process and EVERY person who is charged with a crime needs to go through this process.

    Not because we have 'bleeding hearts' but because if they go through this fair and equitable process, we the people, can SAFELY assume that the person that is convicted is guilty of that crime and that the state can lawfully, openly and fairly sentence this person.

    As a DEMOCRACY we the citizens of this country have a DUTY to ensure that DEMOCRATIC processes are in place to stop injustices and ensure we stay a democracy.

    You only have to look at Hitler, to know what can occur if we are NOT vigilant.
    HOLA
    16th Apr 2013
    5:46pm
    Point taken Mussitate. I know what you are saying but, it looks like we still practise, when someone hurts you, you must turn the other cheek. These other people practise , An eye for an eye. Where will it all end? You only have to look at the legal system here in our own country and see the paltry sentences the Judges hand out for the most terrible crimes. The police must feel very frustrated by some of the decisions by the so-called legal system.


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