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Emergency workers rushed to the scene of the explosion and immediately began taking care of injured people. (Charles Krupa / AP Images)

Tragedy at the Boston Marathon

Powerful blasts bring death and destruction to the famous race

By Zach Jones | April 16 , 2013
<p>More than 23,000 runners competed in this year’s race. (Bill Greene / The Boston Globe via Getty Images)</p>

More than 23,000 runners competed in this year’s race. (Bill Greene / The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

On Monday afternoon, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, a famous race held every spring in Boston, Massachusetts. At least 140 people were injured, and three people died as a result of the explosions.

Medical and emergency workers rushed to the area, where crowds of people had gathered to cheer the runners as they crossed the finish line. The remainder of the race, which ended at Boston’s Copley Square, was canceled.

Authorities do not yet know why the bombs were placed at the marathon or who planted the bombs. But attacks like this are extremely rare.

“All Americans stand with the people of Boston,” President Obama told reporters at the White House. "We will get to the bottom of this, and we will find out who did this, we'll find out why they did this.”

FAST RESPONSE

This kind of public violence is very uncommon. But emergency plans keep people as safe as possible when violent events like this one do happen. In Boston, police evacuated buildings nearby and emergency workers quickly took care of injured people.

“Our focus is on making sure that the area around Copley Square is safe and secured,” said Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts.

Some of the runners who had already finished the race ran to nearby hospitals to donate blood for victims. The American Red Cross, a medical organization that helps out during disasters, quickly sent additional blood supplies to Boston hospitals.

Dogs trained to sniff for and identify bombs searched the area. The police found at least one more explosive device. It was taken apart before causing any harm.

In other major cities like New York City and Washington, D.C., police and security officials took extra care at public spaces like Times Square and the White House to make sure people stay safe.

A HISTORIC RACE

A marathon is a 26.2-mile footrace. This year more than 23,000 runners participated in the Boston Marathon, which has been held every year since 1897. Runners come from all over the world to compete, and the event is a source of great pride and excitement for the city.

“I'm supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other, and move forward as one proud city,” the President said. “And as they do, the American people will be with them every single step of the way."

TEACHER AND PARENT RESOURCES

Below are links to information from child development experts about how best to talk with kids about violent events.

 

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