Two explosions rocked the finish line of the Marathon about 3 p.m. on Monday, killing 3 people and injuring more than 150 others. At least 20 victims are being treated at Boston Medical Center. Boston University Police have been working with Boston Police on an investigation of the blasts, which has been taken over by the FBI.
In a note sent to the BU community Monday evening, President Robert A. Brown said the University will work with safety officials “to understand as much as we can about what has happened.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who have experienced a dreadful loss, and with those whose loved ones are terribly injured,” he said.
A vigil for the victims of the blast will be held on Marsh Plaza at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. Rev. Robert Hill, dean of Marsh Chapel, will open the ceremony, and Brother Larry Whitney (STH’09,’15), the University chaplain for community life, will give the closing prayer. Also, a town hall-style meeting with chaplains and counselors will take place at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday in the George Sherman Union ballroom, 775 Commonwealth Ave.
Also tonight, BUTV will present a special report, Terror at the Finish Line, at 7 p.m.
Scott Paré, BU’s deputy director of public safety and BUPD deputy police chief, asks all students to immediately report any suspicious packages to the BU police at 617-353-2110.
One BU student was injured and is in stable condition at Boston Medical Center. Peter Fiedler (COM’77), vice president for administrative services, says several medical volunteers from Student Health Services were working in the medical tent at the finish line. Those volunteers, who went into action the moment the blast occurred, are unhurt. Kenneth Elmore, dean of students, says the Boston Police have not indicated that there are any threats to the Boston University community. Elmore (SED’87) says all athletes associated with the University who took part in the race are safe and accounted for. Many people used the
#OKatBU hashtag to share information.
University officials announced Monday evening that the University would resume its normal schedule on Tuesday.
The MBTA shut down the Green Line B and C line trolleys for much of Monday afternoon and early evening. All service has been restored except for Copley station, which remains closed. Find MBTA alert updates here. Family members looking for missing loved ones were able to call the Mayor’s hotline at 617-635-4500. Cell phone service in Boston, which was shut down at the height of the bombing, was restored to most parts of the city by Monday evening.
Students are asked to contact their parents and loved ones to let them know that they are safe. Although cell phone service was down on Monday in some parts of town, texting and email was been functioning.
Marsh Chapel is open throughout Tuesday for prayer, with remembrance candles available for those who want to light them and chaplains available to talk, says Hill. There will also be printed recommendations for scripture readings and appropriate prayers. Hill has visited the injured BU student in the hospital.
About 120 people came through the chapel Monday after the tragedy, some in shock—”We had blankets and so on,” Hill says—while many just needed to talk to chaplains or handle logistical matters like using computers.
Rev. John McLaughlin, BU’s Catholic chaplain, returned to campus to open the Catholic Student Center Monday. “Our students assembled to talk and feel safe together,” he says. He announced at 6 p.m. that there would be a special Mass for the dead and injured at 7 p.m. at Marsh Chapel; by 7, the chapel was full, he says.
“I spoke to them about the events and the need to come together and pray,” McLaughlin says. “It is what we are called to do.” Students shared a meal afterward.
Dan Mercurio (COM’10), coordinator of spirit programs at BU’s Student Activities Office, says that he had just crossed the Marathon finish line when the explosion happened. He describes the experience as “surreal.”
“I was running with a friend, and we heard a loud explosion,” Mercurio says. “At first we thought it was someone shooting off a firework, but there was way too much smoke and commotion, and that’s when we realized it was a bomb. Before we could even make sense of it, a second bomb went off. It was a chaotic scene with runners scrambling to get out of the area and tripping over each other. My ears are still ringing.”
Tim Kelly (CAS’09, SED’11), who ran the marathon to benefit the American Liver Foundation and whose story was profiled in BU Today, made it to the 25.5-mile mark before the explosions. He is safe and uninjured.
Officials at Logan Airport warn travelers to expect delays because of increased security. People are being asked to remain out of the Copley Square area until further notice.
Counseling is available through the Dean of Students Office, from Marsh Chapel chaplains, at Student Health Services, and at the Sexual Assault Response & Prevention Center (SARP). Chaplains can be reached at 617-353-3560. SHS counselors can be reached at 617-353-3575. SARP can be reached at 617-353-7277. An SHS Behavioral Medicine provider can be reached at 617-353-3569.