BOSTON — Two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday afternoon killing two spectators and injuring 23 others, including runners and spectators, Boston police said.
Jill Harmacinski, a reporter covering the race for The Eagle-Tribune of North Andover, Mass., said she heard the explosions at 2:50 p.m. She said there was "blood all over Boylston Street on the finish line."
The injured were taken to Massachusetts General Hospital and medical tents set up to treat fatigued runners. Ambulances crowded Boylston Street in the finish line area in front of the Boston Public Library.
Television video from the scene showed a large cloud of white smoke, with spectators and competitors screaming and running for cover.
Witnesses said the explosions could be heard blocks away, and sounded like cannon fire.
Runner Laura McLean of Toronto described a chaotic scene. "There are people who are really, really bloody," McLean said. "They were pulling them into the medical tent."
Cherie Falgoust, who was waiting at the finish line for her runner husband, said the explosions came from a nearby building, perhaps the Lenox Hotel.
"I don't know what this building is ... it just blew. Just a big bomb, a loud boom, and then glass everywhere," She said. "Something hit my head. I don't know what it was. I just ducked."
Almost 27,000 runners from 96 countries competed in the marathon, a signature event for Boston and the running community. The elite runners, including the winners in both the men's and women's divisions, had finished the race three to four hours before the explosions.
Details for this story were provided by The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass., and witnesses.