Chaos at the Boston Marathon finish line as medical staff scramble to help the injured and set up makeshift morgues for the dead
- Unimaginable horror as victims with missing limbs are transported away
- The race’s medical tent has been turned into a morgue
- Reports of other suspicious packages across the city adds to the chaos
PUBLISHED: 15:28 EST, 15 April 2013 | UPDATED: 15:40 EST, 15 April 2013
Emergency crews have scrambled to help the injured at the Boston Marathon finish line following two massive explosions this afternoon, while others rushed to set up makeshift morgues for the dead.
Two two loud explosions occurred about 15 seconds apart at 2.50pm on Monday and emergency vehicles crowded the scene. At least two people have died and 22 people have been injured.
All Boston police officers in the city were ordered to respond to the scene, ABC News said, with former police chief Bill Bratton adding there were around 2,100 officer in the city.
A trauma nurse told ABC that the race’s medical tent has become a makeshift morgue and that staff are dealing with injuries including severed limbs, shrapnel wounds and children with severe burns.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Witness Dave Weigel said via Twitter minutes after the explosion: ‘I saw people’s legs blown off. Horrific. Two explosions. Runners were coming in and saw unspeakable horror.’
Competitors and race organizers were crying as they fled the chaos.
Bloody spectators were being carried to the medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners. A man was pictured with his lower leg blown off.
Steven Saurbier, who saw the explosion’s aftermath from his window, described the swift police response after he witnessed the scene from his apartment.
Rushed away: Medical staff respond to the scene and transport injured spectators to hospitals
‘Police swarmed immediately,’ he said. ‘They removed one or two people after patting them down. There were a lot of injured people… I estimate 20 people were medically transported… I saw a woman being carried by two men and I am almost positive her left leg was blown off at the knee.’
Of the police officers in the city, around 1,000 would have working on the event already, Bratton said, with a concentrated police presence around the finish line and the area behind it.
Runner Laura McLean of Toronto said that she heard two explosions outside the medical tent.
‘There are people who are really, really bloody,’ McLean said. ‘They were pulling them into the medical tent.’
ABC News reported that one hospital had taken in nine injured, while another had accepted 11 injured with five in the operating room.
As well as the chaos from the injuries, ‘you have the compounding factor of dealing with unidentified packages’, Bratton said.
He said he expected police to be receiving numerous calls from concerned residents.
ABC News reported that there were at least three reported packages, with one controlled explosion having been carried out.
‘You have to investigate them all,’ he said. ‘That’s the reality. [There’s a] heightened sense of awareness. [Police] are guaranteed to be getting some calls on public transportation. Every one of these things will be have to be looked at.’
There were also 400 Massachusetts National Guardsmen working at the marathon.