Two explosions hit the finish line of the Boston Marathon, injuring spectators at America’s oldest and most prestigious marathon. It was not immediately clear what caused the explosion or the number and extent of injuries.
The annual 26.2-mile marathon takes place on Patriot’s Day, a state holiday that celebrates the evacuation of Boston by the British in the American Revolution.
About three hours after the winners crossed the finish line, there was a loud explosion on the north side of Boylston Street, just before the photo bridge that marks the finish line. Another explosion could be heard a few seconds later.
Smoke rose from the blasts, through the national flags lining the route of the world’s oldest and most prestigious marathon.
TV helicopter footage showed blood staining the pavement in the popular shopping and tourist area known as the Back Bay.
Bloody spectators were carried to the medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners.
Race day began with 26 seconds of silence in honor of the victims of the December school shooting in Connecticut. A little more than two hours later, the lead runners passed the Mile 26 marker, which was decorated with the Newtown seal and dedicated to the memory of those killed there.