Boston campus shut down following Marathon bombing

Published On April 16, 2013 | By | News
Boston police and other volunteers assist the wounded following two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. CREATIVE COMMONS COURTESY AARON TANG

Boston police and other volunteers assist the wounded following two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. CREATIVE COMMONS COURTESY AARON TANG

By Graeme McNaughton

The Boston campus of the Univeristy of Massachusetts remains closed today following Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon that left three dead and 176 injured.

The campus announced all classes before 4 p.m. would be cancelled to allow Boston police to investigate an incident at the John F Kennedy presidential library on campus. Police initially said they were investigating the incident as being in connection with Monday’s bombings.

“They’re going through campus with cops, nobody is allowed to be there,” Sarah Dumas, a computer science major at the campus, told Humber News.

Dumas, who is a resident of Cambridge, a city in the Greater Boston Area, said she plans on staying home and away from public transportation and campus while the investigation is ongoing, adding that Boston residents need to move on from the attacks and not let it change the city.

“If they don’t find [another bomb] by tomorrow, things will probably start to cool down and hopefully they’ll find out who it was. Then we can all go back to our daily lives like this never happened, because if we allow it to affect us then [whomever planned the attack] won.”

The Attack

American president Barack Obama has said the bombings in Boston on Monday that left three dead and 176 injured are now being investigated as an “act of terrorism”.

Briefing the press Tuesday morning, Obama said the FBI and Boston police are now treating the two bombs that exploded at the finish line of the Boston marathon on Monday afternoon as a terrorist attack, although it is still unknown if this was the work of a terrorist group, foreign or domestic, or of an individual.

“We will get to the bottom of this,” said Obama to the press junket at the White House, according to Boston.com. “And we will find out who did this, we’ll find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice.”

Boston police said two explosions were reported at approximately 2:50p.m. on Boylston St, near the finish line of the race. At first, police confirmed two deaths and over 20 injured, but that number has since increased.

Patrick Johnson, a Toronto runner who passed through the finish line an hour before the bombs exploded, said his emotions went from happy that he finished the marathon to dismay after finding out what happened.

“It was quite a shocking turnaround to go from that feeling of elation that I just finished such a big accomplishment for me to finding out that it turned into such a horrible tragedy for so many other people,” Johnson told Mamta Lulla from Humber News’ radio broadcast.

Other runners were turned away by police before reaching the finish line, preventing then from completing the race.

“It seemed like nobody knew anything at first,” Kyle Edmunds, a Boston area resident and runner who said he was the first to be turned back by police, told Humber News.

“It’s surreal, not actually getting to ever see the finish line, but being so close to having been amidst those who were injured/killed.

“It’s hard having to have stopped at 25.9 miles, but in perspective, there are far more important things to think about than just not finishing a race.”

The Investigation and the Aftermath

The National Post is reporting the bombs were contained in six litre metal pressure cookers and contained shards of metal, nails and ball bearings and were kept in black duffel bags left on the ground at the scene.

Boston police and the FBI, who have taken the lead in the investigation according to CNN, are now interviewing witnesses and reviewing security footage from the scene.

“This remains a very active investigation,” said Richard DesLauriers, the FBI special agent in charge of the investigation, in a press release.

“Our ongoing investigation in various locations throughout the area goes on. However, there are no known additional threats.”

MSNBC is reporting police have searched an apartment in Revere, a city five miles from downtown Boston, although there are currently no clear suspects.

The Revere Fire Department posted on their Facebook page about the investigation that some sources say is related to Monday's bombings at the Boston Marathon. COURTESY FACEBOOK

The Revere Fire Department posted on their Facebook page about the investigation that some sources say is related to Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon. COURTESY FACEBOOK

Despite earlier reports from officials, Deval Patrick, the governor of Massachusetts, announced there were no other explosive devices found, leaving only the two that were detonated.

Today in Boston

Various locations in Boston remain closed today, including the Boston campus of the University of Massachusetts, where police are sweeping the campus following an incident in the library on Monday. Police initially said they were treating the event as related to the bombings.

Other events have been cancelled and some city services in the area have been suspended.

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