Explosions hit Boston Marathon
Two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon have resulted in injuries.
According to the Boston Marathon website there were 108 confirmed Irish entrants in the race.
Bloody spectators were being carried to the medical tent set up to care for fatigued runners. Police wove through competitors as they ran back towards the course.
The Boston Marathon, the world's oldest annual marathon, is held each year on Patriot's Day.
The popular event attracts huge numbers of spectators and this year’s race had around 25,000 registered entrants.
The explosion took place as several runners were still on the course, with those yet to reach the finish being held by police around the 26-mile mark.
A statement from the organisers on via Facebook read: “There were two bombs that exploded near the finish line in today’s Boston Marathon. We are working with law enforcement to understand what exactly has happened.”
“There are a lot of people down,” said one man, whose bib number 17528 identified him as Frank Deruyter. He was not injured, but marathon workers were carrying one woman, who did not appear to be a runner, to the medical area as blood gushed from her leg. A Boston police officer was wheeled from the course with a leg injury that was bleeding.
Here's the explosion in Boston Marathon detonating, this looks very bad pic.twitter.com/rG9GyqTODX— Downtown Josh Brown (@ReformedBroker) April 15, 2013
About three hours after the winners crossed the 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 was heard a few seconds later.
boston marathon explosion pic.twitter.com/xUZ4EXKhLZ— David L. Ryan (@GlobeDavidLRyan) April 15, 2013
Stragglers in the 26.2-mile race were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts, and competitors and organisers were crying as they fled the chaos.
Another runner, Laura McLean of Toronto, said she heard two explosions outside the medical tent.
“There are people who are really, really bloody,” Ms McLean said. “They were pulling them into the medical tent.”
Cherie Falgoust was waiting for her husband, who was running the race.
“I was expecting my husband any minute,” she said. “I don’t know what this building is ... it just blew. Just a big bomb, a loud boom, and then glass everywhere. Something hit my head. I don’t know what it was. I just ducked.”