WASHINGTON – President Obama was notified quickly about the explosions that took place at the finish line of the Boston Marathon and contacted Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, according to a White House official.
Shortly after being notified of the incident around 3 p.m., the official said, Obama received a briefing from Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco and other members of his senior White House staff in the Oval Office.
Obama called Menino and Patrick to “express his concern for those who were injured and to make clear that his administration is ready to provide needed support as they respond to the incident.”
Vice President Joe Biden also interrupted a conference call on gun control, saying that an aide had turned televisions to the news and “apparently there has been a bombing.”
“I don’t know any of the details of what caused it, who did it,” Biden said on the call. “Our prayers are with those people in Boston who have suffered injuries. And I don’t know how many of them there are.”
- Matt Viser and Noah Bierman, Globe Staff
Governor asking everyone to stay away from Copley Square and let the first responders do their job, reports WBZ.
Gov. Deval Patrick statement: “This is a horrific day in Boston. My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured. I have been in touch with the President, Mayor Menino and our public safety leaders. Our focus is on making sure that the area around Copley Square is safe and secured. I am asking everyone to stay away from Copley Square and let the first responders do their jobs.”
* Police getting multiple reports of unexploded devices around Boston.
* One report was of unexploded device on the glass footbridge over Huntington Ave near Copley place
*Another suspicious package was reported near the Harvard #MBTA station
From Globe Correspondent Justin A. Rice: Jennifer B. Mehegan, a spokeswoman for Boston EMS, said they were redeploying EMC personnel from the medical tent in Copley to wherever police need them. She said they would go where bomb squads would go.
"I don’t know if there are patients in different places," she said.
As she was speaking their was a report about another explosion at JFK and she walked away.
Before that she talked about where she was when it happened:
“I was just in [the medical tent], we got rushed with a lot of patients, we took care of them very quickly, pretty orderly. Unfortunately we train for these things and we didn’t seem to be overwhelmed when they started coming in. I was in the back of the tent. I saw patients who were badly injured and needed some help."
She said she saw more than a dozen, possibly two dozen injured people. "Different injuries," she said. "Mostly lacerations there were a few serious patients.”
She would not confirm missing limbs, or 23 hurt or 2 dead. She said she heard police say that but she could not report that.
Multiple witnesses have described the scene on Boylston Street immediately after the explosions as bloody and gruesome.
From Globe reporter Martine Power:
Kyle Lindham of Somerville was on Boylston Street 200 yards from Copley when he heard two explosions, the second louder than the first. Seconds later, police streamed into the street.
"We knew it wasn't right, because police were running, too," Lindham said.
Lindham said he and other runners were halted on the course as police tried to determine what was going on at Copley.
"It became apparent that this was something big. They started yelling at us to get the he'll off the course," Lindham said. "Then we saw other runners coming in our direction, yelling things, and they were obviously very scared."