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