BOSTON — The FBI has joined Boston Police in the investigation into what appears to be a terrorist attack at the finish line of the Boston Marathon after two bombs exploded Monday afternoon.
Around 9 p.m. ET, at least 141 people were reported to have been taken to hospital with wounds sustained from the blasts that brought terror and chaos to the city’s annual marathon race.
Three people, including an eight-year-old boy, were killed, while 17 people are reported to be in a critical condition.
Images in the immediate aftermath showed people being carried away on stretchers — one man in a wheelchair had blood all over his face and legs.
While many patients were treated for cuts and scrapes, doctors have also been “pulling ball bearings out of people in the emergency room,” suggesting the bombs were designed to propel shrapnel, according to one terrorism expert briefed on the Boston blasts.
Medical teams have also carried out at least 10 amputations and treated many leg injuries, suggesting the device was low to the ground, according to CNN’s Deborah Feyerick.
A reporter for the Associated Press says families from the Newtown shooting massacre were in the VIP section near where the explosion occurred.
The blasts occurred a few seconds apart at about 2:45 p.m., shrouding downtown Boston’s Copley Square in smoke.
SEE ALSO: Photos, videos of Boston Marathon blast
Ed Davis, Commissioner of Police in Boston, spoke to reporters Monday afternoon in a news conference.
“Each scene resulted in multiple casualties,” he said. “We are recommending to people that they stay home. Don’t go anyplace and congregate in large crowds,” Davis said.
Davis also said a third explosion at JFK Library may be connected to the marathon explosions.
FOX News reported that a source told them authorities were guarding a ‘person of interest’ at the hospital, who was suffering from severe burns.
Intelligence officials told the Associated Press at least two more devices had been discovered by police and were being dismantled.
Ramsey Mohsen, who lives in Kansas City, tweeted his hotel in Copley Square was evacuated. “They are bringing bomb dogs through our rooms,” he said.
As the afternoon progressed, a law enforcement official said cellphone service had been shut down in the Boston area to prevent any potential remote detonations of explosives.
The Boston Marathon headquarters were locked down and the marathon was suspended. Runners were stopped at mile 26 of the 26.2 course.
The FOX station in Boston reported what appears to be blood on the ground where the explosion occurred. Troops from the Massachusetts National Guard were assisting police as well. Authorities were checking trash cans and other containers in the area, looking for explosives.
Not knowing what they’re dealing with, police were asking people in the Boston area to go inside their homes or businesses and stay there.
Onlooker Josh Matthews said he heard the blast, then saw police running toward the scene.
“We just heard a lot of sirens, and people were kind of frantic, and it was a bad situation, so we got out of there,” he said.
A photographer taking pictures of runners crossing the finish line said he saw gruesome injuries.
Commissioner Davis provided two phone numbers; one for families of victims, the other for anyone with information about the person or people responsible for the bombs. Families of victims were to call 617-635-4500. Anyone with tips was asked to call 1-800-494-TIPS.
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