The Boston Marathon bombing claimed the lives of an 8-year-old boy who loved baseball and a 29-year-old woman mourned by Facebook friends, who said she died at the scene of the carnage.
The two explosions killed three and injured more than 175, many recovering in hospitals with injuries including lost legs and other lower-extremity wounds from bombs laden with pellets and nail-like shrapnel, hospital officials said.
Martin Richard, an 8-year-old from Boston’s Dorchster neighborhood, was among the dead in blasts that also injured his mother and sister. Krystle Campbell of suburban Medford, was also among the dead, according to Michael McGlynn, the town’s mayor.
Authorities said they haven’t determined the motive or perpetrators behind yesterday’s explosions as evidence suggested the bombs were built inside metal pressure cookers and designed to maim as many people as possible.
The bombs left some victims with 40 or more pieces of metal embedded in their bodies, a hospital official said. The fragments were uniform, indicating that they came from the two bomb blasts and not from the surrounding environment, George Velmahos, chief of trauma surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, said in a news briefing today. Doctors at the facility had performed four amputations and were monitoring two more at risk after bombing, he said.
“We just completed what the bomb had done,” Velmahos said of the amputations.
Doctors described war-like carnage resulting from the bomb blasts, which President Barack Obama has called acts of terror. Authorities in Boston continued scouring what they say is the most complex crime scene in the history of the Massachusetts capital, as details emerged of the victims who died and were severely wounded.
This morning, two Boston police cars guarded the Richard family home, a two-family residence in a diverse middle-class section of Dorchester. A Volvo wagon and Ford Explorer were parked in the driveway of the three-story, wood clapboard house.
Martin was a handsome, talented ball player who was “everything you want in a little kid,” said Mike Christopher, the boy’s Little League coach, in an interview.
“He pitched. He played shortstop, third base, first base. He could play anything you needed,” Christopher said. “He was the type of kid you want on your team. It’s hard to take.”
Campbell had “beautiful freckles and bright red hair,” said McGlynn, who said she was a “dream daugther” to her father.
Word of her death spread via social media Tuesday. A friend, Marc Hordon, posted on his company’s Facebook page that she “was seldom caught not smiling and not expressing her opinion.”
One of the most graphic and controversial images from the blast scene has been circulated extensively via Internet blogs. It captures a man wearing a two-toned gray shirt being rolled away in a wheelchair. At least one leg in a tourniquet at the thigh and the lower portion consisting of mere shreds. His identity and condition couldn’t be determined.
In a short video circulated on the web, the body of a man in an orange tank top and black shorts crumples just feet from the finish line after his legs buckle inward from the blast’s shock waves.
The Herald of Everett identified him as Bill Iffrig, a 78-year-old retired mason worker from Washington state. He was running his third Boston Marathon and escaped with just a scraped knee, placing second in his division, the newspaper said.
Most of the wounded suffered damage to their lower extremities, leading doctors to believe that the bomb must have been detonated from the ground up, Velmahos said. Doctors were treating three primary groups of injuries: internal bleeding, those sustained when falling to the ground from the bomb’s shock wave, and embedded shrapnel particles.
It was too early to say whether the death toll would climb, though he described patients as “really pulling it together” and “amazingly resilient.” Doctors could provide better care because of that, he said.
While Bostonians grieved, a sense that the fatalities could have been worse drew from the fact that the bombs exploded within a block of the marathon’s medical tent. Also, Boston is home to one of the highest concentrations of medical facilities and personnel, meaning care wasn’t far.