Two bomb blasts rocked the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing three and injuring more than 140, according to the Associated Press.
A White House official speaking on condition of anonymity said the attack was being treated as an act of terrorism.
Fifty-nine Mississippians had registered to run the race this year, and 40 had finished at the time of the explosion, according to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. As of Monday evening, there were no known injuries to Mississippians.
The first explosion came at the 4 hour, 10 minute mark of the race on Boylston Street. A second explosion about 100 yards away happened seconds later.
Leigh James, sales associate at Stinky Feet Athletics in Flowood began monitoring the athletic shoe store’s private Facebook group as early reports came in and said many customers who were at the race were checking in.
James said Ridgeland runner Jackie Williams, who was originally reported missing by her husband Danny Williams, was later accounted for. She also said Madison runner Stephanie Maisel hurt her foot during the race and was not near the finish line where one explosion occurred. Stinky Feet customers Mary Krapac, Joey Lee, Steve Bramlette and brothers Jim and Paul George are reportedly safe.
St. Dominic’s physician Scott McPherson was running in the race and is reportedly safe.
Jackson physician Rick Guynes reportedly helped emergency crews following the explosions.
Corinth runner Kenneth Williams is safe, according to DJournal.com.
Long Beach runner Tracey Ashall says she and other South Mississippi runners are also safe. Other runners from the Coast known to be in Boston for the race are Leonard Vergunst of Ocean Springs, Joanne Begg of Long Beach, Megan Davis of Ocean Springs, Tim McDaniel of Biloxi, Joshua Ord of Ocean Springs, William Pfleeger of Gulfport and Stephen Pater of Lucedale, according to gulflive.com.
Hattiesburg runner Jeannetta Bennett reported all Hattiesburg runners as safe according to a University of Southern Mississippi communications office Twitter post.
Brandon native and “Biggest Loser” winner Patrick House also participated in Monday’s race according to his Twitter feed.
“Crazy and scary afternoon in Boston for my third marathon. Thanks for the thoughts and prayers,” House tweeted later in the day.
Donna Bruce of Madison finished with a time of 3 hours, 50 minutes.
“From what we have heard, most of the people we know from here or are connected too, are okay,” the Facebook page for Fleet Feet in Ridgeland read on Monday afternoon.
President Barack Obama vowed that those responsible will “feel the full weight of justice.”
As many as two unexploded bombs were also found near the end of the 26.2-mile course as part of what appeared to be a well-coordinated attack, but they were safely disarmed, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation.
The fiery twin blasts took place about 10 seconds and about 100 yards apart, knocking spectators and at least one runner off their feet, shattering windows and sending dense plumes of smoke rising over the street and through the fluttering national flags lining the route. Blood stained the pavement, and huge shards were missing from window panes as high as three stories.
“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 shield their children’s eyes from the gruesome scene inside a medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners, but “they saw a lot.”
“They just kept filling up with more and more casualties,” Lisa Davey said. “Most everybody was conscious. They were very dazed.”
>>The Associated Press has posted the following raw footage of one of the explosions on their YouTube channel.
>>The Boston Globe also has a video on their YouTube channel (WARNING GRAPHIC).
>>President Obama’s remarks to the media from Monday afternoon.
Reporting by Stephen McDill, Frank Brown, Ross Reily and the Associated Press.
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