Explosions at Boston Marathon: Three Fatalities, 140+ Wounded, Logan Airport Shut Down, Security Increased
Two explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon — the oldest continuously operating annual marathon in the world — occurred within 15 seconds and 100 meters of each other approximately four hours after the race started, killing at least three people and injuring greater than 140 people.
At least 17 of those people are reported to be in critical condition at local area hospitals, while 25 are reportedly in serious condition. Ten of those injured people reportedly had limbs amputated. One of the fatalities was reportedly a boy who was only eight years old.
Ball bearings are suspected to have been used as shrapnel in the explosions, exacerbating the number of people who were injured.
Several modes of transportation were completely shut down temporarily, including Logan International Airport — flights which had Boston as a destination were restricted at their originating airports due to a ground stop, while the Federal Aviation Administration imposed flight restrictions over the site of the explosion — as well as select subway and commuter rail lines. Streets around the area of Copley Square were blocked.
Cellular telephone service was also supposedly cut off to thwart attempts to remotely detonate other explosive devices.
In response to this situation, Delta Air Lines has released an announcement that it has issued a waiver of its change fee through April 20, 2013 for those passengers who need to change their itineraries and flight plans.
Here is a composite video of the explosions, interviews and news reports, courtesy of CNN:
One of the explosions was originally thought to have occurred at or near a Fairmont hotel property in Boston, but that turned out to be a false report.
FlyerTalk members are already coordinating an effort to donate frequent travel loyalty program miles and points towards aiding family members of those who were directly affected by the explosions but cannot afford to travel to them — and those FlyerTalk members are hoping that company representatives of airlines and lodging companies will be willing to match the donations.
The Westin Copley Place Boston — a hotel property at which I have stayed many times — is reportedly in the headlines as a base for media coverage, hosting the governor of Massachusetts, the Boston Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and many member of local, national and international media covering this situation.
The Boston Marriott Copley Place — another hotel property at which I have stayed many times — as well as the Lenox Hotel were reportedly evacuated as a precaution.
It is unknown at this time who is responsible for the explosions — considered to be classified as a terrorist attack by authorities of the federal government of the United States — or the reasons as to why they occurred. Law enforcement authorities throughout the United States are on heightened alert. Meanwhile, FlyerTalk members are concerned that the Department of Homeland Security — how I despise that name — may use this incident as an excuse to unnecessarily further tighten security and increase restrictions, despite the limitations imposed by the current budget sequester.
An extensive discussion about this unfortunate incident is located in the OMNI/PR forum on FlyerTalk, if you have access to it.
My thoughts go out to the victims of this incident — as well as to their families and friends…