Social Media Reaction to Boston Marathon Explosions

Melissa Knowles

The Boston Marathon became the scene of a crime today. Starting at approximately 2:50 p.m., two bombs went off within seconds of each other and caused numerous critical injuries and at least two deaths. CNN reported that at least 132 people were injured.

People immediately took to social media to share what they were seeing as eyewitnesses and to alert the world to what was happening. A Vine video from user "Doug" of one of the explosions going off recorded from live television was being retweeted and shared multiple times.

Boston Globe reporter David Abel tweeted from the scene, "Fine. Reporting. I was 10 feet from the explosion. Shaken up. But not a scratch. Worst thing I ever saw." A video uploaded by YouTube user "FatalitySnow" shows a group of people standing around just as the second bomb goes off.

Other eyewitnesses reported feeling the ground shake during the explosions and seeing lots of blood, smelling smoke and seeing people with missing limbs.

Tents that were originally set up to care for fatigued runners became triage centers to care for victims of the explosions. Witnesses said they observed people with severe injuries being carted into the tents. In addition, for many there was a state of confusion because people did not know what was happening and how long the chaos would continue.

Following the explosions, cell phone service was shut down in the immediate area to prevent any possible remote explosive detonations.

More than an hour later, a third explosion was reported at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum several miles away from the crowded finish line. No injuries were reported. As of now, this incident has not been linked to the two explosions at the marathon site.

The New York Times released a map on Twitter of where the bombs went off.

President Barack Obama spoke in a live press conference regarding the explosions, vowing to find whoever caused the mass destruction. "Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice."

There are currently no suspects in custody and no reports of a motive for the explosions.

Several major cities have heightened security efforts in response to the explosions. New York City has increased police presence in Times Square; Washington, D.C., has also increased security measures.

The race began at 9:22 a.m. Monday, and at least 27,000 people participated.

If you are trying to locate friends and loved ones who may have been affected by today's explosions, please call 617-635-4500, the Boston mayor's hotline. Also, the American Red Cross and Google have set up sites for people to find their loved ones in the Boston area.

In addition, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency tweeted that it was best to text loved ones if you're having trouble reaching them by calling, because texting requires less bandwidth.

[Related: Live-Chat of Explosions at the Boston Marathon]

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