Boston bombings kill 3, injure more than 170

Boston bombings kill 3, injure more than 170

April 15
23:46 2013

Marlene Gonzalez / Assigning Editor

Yesterday at 2:50 p.m. two explosions went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring more than 170 people, including children.

The Associated Press reports that ongoing investigations are trying to find the source of the attacks. Officals defused two other bombs near the 26.2 mile race.

In a televised speech, President Barack Obama said he and his wife Michelle “send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims in the wake of this senseless loss.”

“But make no mistake – we will get to the bottom of this,” Obama said. “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.”

Seven Denton residents including Russ Stukel, director of student life for the Texas Academy of Math and Science program at UNT, participated in the race, finishing before the bombs exploded.

Assistant director of student life for TAMS Kevin Roden said in an email to students and faculty that Stukel and his wife were fine. He had seen  the explosions from across the second floor building he was in.

Patrick Zimmerer, UNT engineering graduate and one of the participants, posted on his Facebook wall “We are all ok up here. Don’t know any details. Lots of cops and ambulances everywhere.”

Stacey Blaylock also posted on her Facebook saying she had finished the race and was about half a mile away from where the bombs went off.

“It is tragic how you can take something so beautiful as a whole city taking off work to celebrate the historic Boston Marathon to cheer on those achieving goals and dreams, and turning it into destruction,” she said.

UNT Public Administration professor David McEntire, who teaches emergency management classes, said for events such as the Boston Marathon, there is a large security premise where police sweep the streets and check trash cans for planted bombs before the event starts.  He said based on the number of bombs, it was most likely a terrorist attack.

“Certainly with a big public event like this there is effort to increase security at the scene and sweep the area before the event occurs,” he said.  “It varies on the event. One of the challenges you have with this particular race is that it’s over 26 miles in length. How do you provide security for such a large range of area?”

McEntire said it is common for terrorists to attack events that are high profile.

“There is no general rule. Some of them might plan a couple days or weeks. For a big event like 9/11 they probably took months and years in advance to plan it.”

McEntire said the Boston Marathon was a “soft target” meaning a place that is open and vulnerable. He said while big events such as the Super Bowl might receive more security and precautions, less-profiled places are easier targets.

He said having medical personnel at the scene for the race helped give faster aid to those who were injured.

“Think about how easy it would be to attack a campus or a mall, and how easy it would be to take a gun and shoot people or plant a bomb, ” he said.

UNT alumnus Allison Klingsick was visiting Boston with a group from her church and was about a mile away from the explosion.

“We were just standing and watching and we heard a noise, some people thought it was gunshots, or maybe someone collapsed. Then we saw the fire trucks,” Klingsick said.

Klingsick said her group moved farther away to Cambridge, Mass., and said there was a visible increase in the number of police officers in the area.

“It’s one of those freaky moments. We were all near the intersection watching and we immediately got on our phones to talk to our parents just to say, ‘I’m OK.’”

In the event of campus violence, UNT’s Emergency Preparedness Guide advises students, faculty and staff to call 9-1-1, find a safe place and go to a designated assembly area. It is also suggested people avoid touching items left by the attacker.

UNT emergency manager Blake Abbe could not be reached for comment. Visit emergency.unt.edu for more information.

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