(BOSTON) — Two people were killed and 22 injured by a pair of explosions that erupted at the Boston Marathon on Monday afternoon.
The blasts occurred shortly before 3 p.m. near the finish line of the annual race, on Boylston Street, which was crowded with runners and spectators, according to police. Thousands of runners were still completing the race at the time of the first explosion.
According to law enforcement sources, the first blast was at the Marathon Sports running store before 3 p.m., and blew out windows in four nearby buildings, injuring 15 to 20 individuals.
About 10 seconds later, a second explosion occurred, severely injuring more bystanders, police said.
At least 22 people have been confirmed injured by the police. A trauma nurse from Massachusetts General Hospital told ABC News that medical workers had set up a temporary morgue at a medical tent at the road race and were treating patients with severed limbs and children with severe burns.
Boston EMS personnel could be seen shuttling the injured out of the blast area on wheelchairs. Several of them were bleeding from the face.
Boston police set off a third explosion before 4 p.m. and were sweeping the area, checking dozens of bags left behind by runners who evacuated the area after the explosions. Officials are also testing for chemicals to help determine what kind of device was used, according to police.
Homeland Security Direction Eric Holder was in touch with the FBI in Boston and President Obama was notified of the blasts. All of Boston’s police force was ordered to report to duty.
Security precautions were taken elsewhere beyond Boston. In Washington D.C., Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House has been closed to pedestrians and there is heightened security.
In Boston, police have told people in area to avoid trash cans, according to witnesses.
The explosions erupted on what is usually a festive day in Boston. It is designated Patriots Day and most offices are closed for the celebration and the marathon.
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