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Controlled devices set off explosions at Boston Marathon finish line; an Austinite's account

An Austinite's account of Boston Marathon finish line explosions

Boston Marathon explosion man on ground
Police tried to clear the scene after two bombs went off on April 15 at the Boston Marathon.  New York Post/Twitter
Boston Marathon explosion
At least two are dead after a pair of explosions rocked the Boston Marathon. The Today Show/Twitter
Boston Marathon explosion
Nearly two dozen are injured. Photo by David L. Ryan/Globe/Twitter
Boston Marathon explosion
Police rushed to the aid of victims after bombs went off near the finish line on April 15.  Bucks Courier Times/Twitter
Boston Marathon explosion
"We've had a horrific attack in Boston this afternoon," Gov. Deval Patrick said at a press conference.  Twitter
Boston Marathon explosion chaos
Ambulances transported victims to hospitals after two explosions went off near the finish line.  Twitter
Boston Marathon explosion man injured
Spectators are also among the injured at the Boston Marathon.  Twitter
Boston Marathon explosion man on ground
Boston Marathon explosion
Boston Marathon explosion
Boston Marathon explosion
Boston Marathon explosion
Boston Marathon explosion chaos
Boston Marathon explosion man injured

UPDATES:

8:58 p.m. EST: Death toll at 3; more than 130 injured with 17 in critical condition and 9 in surgery per CNN.

7:08 p.m. EST: CultureMap Austin contributor Matt McGinnis is currently in Boston, supporting his wife who ran the Boston Marathon. He offered his account of the bombings, which are now being called a terror attack. It's currently unknown if the event was perpetrated by a domestic or international group or individual.

"We have had a rough day to say the least and are still very shaken. My wife had finished the race and we were walking back to the hotel when the blasts occurred about a block from us. They were incredibly loud and obviously powerful explosions. People ran as smoke billowed up the street toward us. 
 
We were not with our children and we had a difficult time getting to them. Once we did, we were not allowed back into our hotel. The Copley Square area is on lock down with many emergency vehicles lining the roads. We finally just got back in through a service entrance in back and were allowed to come up in a service elevator. Bomb squads, armed army troops and police are swarming the roads outside our hotel right now. 
 
My phone was out of batteries and cell service is very spotty. We hope to be able to get out of here tomorrow. "
 

7:05 p.m. EST, injured count up to 110, including children.

At 4:55 p.m. EST, police confirmed a third explosion at JFK Library, which is under investigation.

Business Insider says New York Police Department are stepping up counter-terrorism vehicles around Manhattan. Family members are being asked to call 617-635-4500. The Red Cross is accepting cash donations and blood donations.

At 4:19 p.m. EST, amount injured and being treated at Mass General rises to 28. 

As of 4:02 p.m. EST, 23 are reported injured and two dead. Those numbers are expected to rise. To locate friends and family participating in the marathon, you can look up where runners last checked in online. WCVB Boston says victims were being taken to Massachusetts General Hospital.

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At 3:30 p.m. EST, The Associated Press reported“About three hours after the winners crossed the line, there was a loud explosion on the north side of Boylston Street, just before the photo bridge that marks the finish line. Another thunderous explosion could be heard a few seconds later.”

The Boston Globe official Twitter account is delivering a steady stream of real-time updates from the 117th Boston Marathon, including "[A] cook I talked to says he tied his apron around a woman's severed leg" and "Finish line volunteers told to run. Describe fear like 9/11 or the tsunami."

The Chicago Tribune reports "Hundreds of thousands of spectators typically line the 26.2 mile (42.19 km) race course, with the heaviest crowds near the finish line. The blasts occurred more than five hours after the start of the race, at a time when most top athletes were off the course but slower amateur marathoners were still running."

Two explosions were confirmed to have been controlled devices and took place less than half a mile apart, across from the Lenox Hotel. The race, which hosts nearly 27,000 runners, was stopped as athletes neared an underpass in the Back Bay. All off duty Boston police officers have now been called to the scene.

As the marathon kicked off this morning, NPR ran a report on runners from Newtown, Connecticut who said they were running each mile of the marathon in memory of the 26 victims of the December 14 Sandy Hook Elementary massacre.  

"The race day got started with 26 seconds of silence in honor of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting." The Mile 26 marker was decorated with the Newtown seal and "dedicated to the memory of those killed there."

Washington, D.C. is on high alert. The source of the bombing is not yet confirmed. 

Keep up with CNN's live blog here.

**Below is a clip of the explosion.

Viewer discretion advised.**