Explosions in Boston updated w/video: graphic content


Twitter hashtag #Boston; FBI Tipline is 1-800-CALL-FBI prompt #3

The festive atmosphere of the Boston Marathon has turned into a grisly murder scene this evening after shrapnel ripped through hundreds of excited onlookers and joyous partipants, killing at least three people. The toll stands at 2 3 confirmed dead with 23 at least 113 injured from two timed bombs that went off seconds apart at the packed finish line, presumably as intended, and a third that was intentionally detonated by a police bomb squad (Yet another bomb has been reported at the JFK library in Boston). The only silver lining is there were significant medical assets at the attack site, so many victims lives’ were saved from what would otherwise have been fatal injuries. It is widely reported emergency responders treated victims on the scene who suffered partial or full traumatic amputations. The injured now being treated at local area hospitals span the gamut, from a two year-old with head trauma to several elderly victims with injuries ‘threatening life and limb’.

I checked with a couple of friends who live in Boston and work downtown, one said he heard it across 20 blocks. Tax day, Patriot Day, Boston, and JFK; all consistent with targets hit by terrorists looking to maxmimize casualties and therefore news coverage. FWIW I am seeing speculation from demo experts saying the smoke shown in video suggests black powder or some other flaggelany and not explosive C4 or TNT. Nevertheless these bombs were designed and carefully placed to kill and maim, no question about it.

A number of groups may try and take credit for this, be true to your skeptical roots folks. Also bear in mind that in the past — the Centennial Olympic bombing comes to mind — the early and strongly suspected person, a local police officer named Richard Jewell, turned out to have nothing to do with the attack[s], Jewell was in fact a hero on that scene in 1996. The actual perp was a right-wing anti-abortion terroist who remained at large for years afterward.


  1. says

    It was definitely not high explosive. The photos of the fireball clearly show there wasn’t a supersonic shockwave. There’s a lot of nasty stuff it could be, including ammonium nitrate/fuel oil (which makes that kind of characteristic white smoke plume) ANFO is also popular with right-wing militias and gun nuts and some of it is still available commercially – though I bet not for very much longer.

  2. Ben P says

    ANFO is also popular with right-wing militias and gun nuts and some of it is still available commercially – though I bet not for very much longer.

    The problem with ANFO is that Ammonium Nitrate makes a very good fertilizer, which is why it’s still commercially available.

    Although IIRC, they make AN fertilizer with chemical tracers in it now, so if it’s used in a bomb it’s very easy to tell where and when it was sold.

  3. says

    An appalling occurrence. Completely off topic, Ars Technica has a set of really cool stories about the resurrection of the F-1 rocket engines which powered Apollo to the moon.

  4. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Horrendous atrocity whoever has done this.

    My sympathies and thoughts / hopes to the victims, their friends and families and those on the scene helping as police, first aid, emergency workers and volunteers.

    Too early yet to tell much about the perpetrators, there’s too little information and too much confusion for any conclusions to be made by anyone not an expert directly investigating with info we don’t yet have. They will eventually be caught and must NOT be allowed to get away with this whoever they are.

  5. Trebuchet says

    Nitpick: Richard Jewell was a private security guard, not a police officer. That had a lot to do with the suspicion falling on him. Nobody respects rent-a-cops, especially the real ones.

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