Explosions near Boston Marathon finish line: Timeline

Earlier today, two explosions went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Copley Square. The Tech has compiled a timeline of the events. Stay tuned for more coverage.

Boston Police Commissioner has announced two telephone numbers: 617-635-4500 for families trying to locate people, and if anyone saw anything at the incident that could help lead to prosecution, you are encouraged to call 1-800-494-TIPS.

2:50 p.m. — Two explosions went off within 10 seconds of each other near the Boston Marathon finish line in Copley Square, about 50-100 yards apart.

3:23 p.m. — MBTA Shutdown in multiple areas. Green Line service suspended between Kenmore and Park Street. All Green Line B and C Trains suspended. D Line trains run only between Riverside and Fenway. E line trains run only between Northeastern and Brigham Circle. Red and Orange Lines bypassing Park Street and Downtown Crossing.

3:25 p.m. — Cambridge Police report Mass. Ave bridge closed.

3:30 p.m. — Lenox Hotel near finish line is evacuated.

3:36 p.m. — Alert Message to MIT Community was sent via text message and email. The text reads: “An explosion has occurred near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston. MIT Medical has been alerted. MIT will provide further information if circumstances call for it.” Check for further updates.

3:51 p.m. — Cambridge police report of possible incident/bombs/threat in Central Square.

3:53 p.m. — Controlled explosion takes place opposite JFK library as part of bomb squad activities. UPDATE at 6:38 p.m. — Boston Police Department reports that Police Commissioner Davis says, “The preliminary investigation indicates JFK incident may not have been an explosion. It may have been a fire.”

4:00 p.m. — Cambridge Police report of possible incident/bombs/threat at Brattle Street & Farwell Place.

4:18 p.m. — All clear given for Central Square.

4:22 p.m. — New York Times reports 2 dead, at least 2 dozen injured.

4:24 p.m. — Federal law enforcement authority confirms to ABC News explosion was caused by an intentional bomb, using small portable explosive devices.

4:29 p.m. — reporting that suspicious package reported near Harvard MBTA station.

4:45 p.m. — News conference at Westin Hotel.

4:34 p.m. — 400 Massachusetts National Guard soldiers were on scene for the marathon.

4:36 p.m. — CBS reporting they were told bombs were located in trash cans. Also told that another device recovered intact and unexploded “on good authority that they have this device in their hands.”

4:37 p.m. — CBS reporting: “One law enforcement official told us there is a surveillance photo of someone, male, we believe, carrying what appear to be a couple of backpacks” in the minutes prior to these explosions.”

4:40 p.m. — Cambridge Police report of possible incident/bombs/threat at 13XX mass ave in Cambridge.

4:42 p.m. — All clear given for Brattle Street and Farwell Place.

4:45 p.m. — Boston Globe reports toll rises to 2 dead, 64 wounded.

4:49 p.m. — US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says Boston flight restrictions will not affect Logan Airport commercial air operations.

4:50 p.m. — FAA announces ground stop for Boston Logan airport until further notice.

4:58 p.m. — In news conference, Ed Davis, Police Commissioner of Boston, says no injuries at JFK explosions. All victims have been removed from the scene, bags left will be treated as evidence. Call 617-635-4500 for families trying to locate victims; 1-800-494-TIPS for tips.

5:02 p.m. — AP reports cellphone service shut down in Boston to “prevent remote detonations of explosives,” according to law enforcement official.

5:04 p.m. — CBS reporting accidental fire in machine room at JFK library.

5:04 p.m. — All clear given for 13xx mass ave.

5:07 p.m. — Mass. Transportation sends T-alert: Green Line service remains terminated between Kenmore and Park Street Stations, B- C- lines suspended.

5:35 p.m. — FAA lifts temporary ground stop that halted incoming flights to Logan Airport.

5:37 p.m. — Cambridge Police report of possible incident/bombs/threat at Dunster Street & Mt. Auburn Street in Cambridge.

6:02 p.m. ­— All clear given for Dunster Street & Mt. Auburn Street in Cambridge.

6:10 p.m. ­— President Obama addresses the nation saying, “Make no mistake, we’ll get to the bottom of this...any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.”

8:07 p.m. — MIT President Reif sends letter to the MIT community, in which he notes that, as far as the administration is aware, none of the direct casualties are members of the MIT community.

8:16 p.m. — The Boston Athletics Association releases official statement on the tragedy, in which they report that all runners who had been on the course during the event have been returned to a community meeting area.

8:39 p.m. — The Wall Street Journal reports that “Counterterrorism officials found what they believe to be five additional, undetonated explosive devices around the Boston area... But the officials also sounded a note of caution, saying they are moving quickly and each device they believe is a bomb hasn’t been fully dissected or analyzed.” NOTE: See 9:00 p.m. update contradicting this report.

8:42 p.m. — The Massachusetts Avenue bridge is opened to inbound traffic.

8:49 p.m. — Governor Patrick announces that MBTA passengers should expect random checks of bags and parcels Tuesday.

8:50 p.m. — The Boston Globe reports that the FBI is taking over the investigation and that the FBI says there is a need for a “heightened state of vigilance” in the city.

8:53 p.m. — Commissioner Davis confirms at a press conference that the number of dead victims has risen to three. “This cowardly act will not be taken in stride. We will turn over every rock to find who is responsible for this.”

9:00 p.m. — Contradicting earlier reports, Commissioner Davis says that no additional explosive devices were located during the search of suspicious packages.

Compiled by Anne Cai, Deborah Chen, Bruno B.F. Faviero, Stan Gill, Greg Steinbrecher, and Stephen Suen.

1 Comment
Anonymous almost 9 years ago

The timeline article is outstanding coverage of this tragic event by the MIT Tech staff.