BOSTON (AP) - An 8-year-old boy is one of three people who died when a pair of bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The Associated press reports that the boy's mother and sister were also injured as they waited for his father to finish the race.
The explosions injured at least 144 people, 17 critically, including two children.
Spectators and runners described twin explosions that shook the finish line Monday around 2:50 p.m. Eastern Time.
"They just started bringing people in with no limbs," said runner Tim Davey, of Richmond, Va. He said he and his wife, Lisa, tried to keep their children's eyes shielded from the gruesome scene inside a medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners, but "they saw a lot."
LIST | Kansas City area runners in Boston Marathon http://bit.ly/1188wdO
One woman said she was waiting for her husband to cross the finish line, and, in her words, "it just blew." She described it as "a loud boom, and then glass everywhere." Cherie Falgoust said something hit her head, and she "just ducked."
A runner, Laura McLean of Toronto, said 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."
Another runner, a Rhode Island state trooper, said he saw at least two dozen people with very serious injuries at the finish line, including missing limbs.
The explosions took place about three hours after the winners crossed the finish line. The second one could be heard a few seconds after the first one.
Competitors and race volunteers were crying as they fled the chaos and as bloody spectators were carried to the medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners.
Marathon workers were seen carrying one woman, who did not appear to be a runner, to the medical area as blood gushed from her leg.
Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis urged residents and visitors to avoid large groups and stay in their homes and hotels in a news conference Monday.
While The Associated Press initially reported that two other explosive devices had been found near the marathon site, Davis said in the news conference no other devices were discovered.
According to local runner Greg Hall, there are about 125 people from the Kansas City area participating in the race.
Vice President Joe Biden was on a conference call with gun control activists when staffers turned on televisions in his office Monday to view coverage of the explosions. Biden said during the call that his prayers were with those who suffered injuries.
According to NBC News, the injuries reported are similar to those seen in a war zone. Law enforcement officials told NBC the explosion may have been caused by improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.
Janet Wu, a reporter for WHDH, told NBC News that she heard two loud explosions. A witness told WHDH that it sounded like cannon fire.
With little official information to guide them, members of Congress strongly suggested on Monday that the deadly Boston Marathon explosions were acts of terrorism and vowed to bring anyone responsible to justice.
"My understanding is that it's a terrorist incident," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee.
She told reporters she had been in contact with U.S. intelligence agencies and they reported no advance warning that "there was an attack on the way."
Two other members of the panel, Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine, said that based on initial press reports that "multiple improvised explosive devices may have been involved at this high profile national event bear the hallmarks of a terrorist attack."
The remarks made by the three lawmakers stood in contrast to President Barack Obama's own brief statement at the White House, where he made no mention of terrorists or terrorism as a possible cause of the bombings.
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An 8-year-old boy is one of three people who died when a pair of bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The Associated press reports that the boy's mother and sister were also injured.
See images of the aftermath at the Boston Marathon after two devices exploded near the finish line.
An estimated 125 runners from the Kansas City area participated in the Boston Marathon. Get a full list of the runners - and find our how to check if they finished the race - inside.