(Updated with quotes and statistics at 2:59 p.m. AP story updated at 6:51 p.m.)
Local runners Dr. John and Jaime Bursell are safe at the site of the Boston Marathon, where two explosions have killed three and injured at least 144 others.
The blasts occurred near the finish of the race today about two hours after the winners crossed the line.
Contacted Monday afternoon Eastern time at their hotel room, where they first learned of the blasts, Jaime Bursell said that sirens were still sounding in the area.
Bursell finished the race in under three hours and they had already gone to their hotel to relax and recover.
Bursell finished the Boston Marathon about 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (9 a.m. Alaska). His two-hour and 59 minute run was roughly 40 minutes after the first finisher had crossed the line and roughly one-and-a-half hours before the first bomb went off.
“We were long gone when the first blast went off,” John Bursell said. “We had gathered all our things after the race, did all the race formalities and were in our hotel room.”
The Bursell’s hotel is five blocks from the start/finish line.
“The whole streets are blocked off and they are not allowing people in,” Bursell said. “We will probably just stay in our hotel and have dinner here. Jaime heard the blasts and is it unnerving.”
The Bursells will leave tomorrow and arrive back in Juneau on Wednesday.
Cell phone service has been shut down in the Boston area to prevent any potential remote detonations of explosives.
Bursell stated he would run the Boston Marathon again.
“Obviously you think about it,” Bursell said. “You are more aware of what could happen after something like this happens, but I wouldn’t let it stop me from doing a big event.”
Bursell stated he has other major athletic events scheduled, including the Hawaiian Iron Man in October and multiple other competitions.
“I am not ready to let it change my behavior,” Bursell said. “If you let people who do things like this have that kind of affect on you then you are letting them control you, and you hate to let that happen. On the other hand, I am not going to leave the hotel tonight. I think that would be kind of stupid.”
Bursell was among 39 Alaska residents signed up for the race. The race started with 26 seconds of silence in honor of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Two hours later the lead runners passed the Mile 26 marker which was decorated with the Newtown, Conn. Seal and dedicated to the memory of those killed there.
“We heard two explosions, and I thought, 'that had a 9/11 feel to it,’”Brent Cunningham, 46 of Sitka, told the Wall Street Journal blog today. He wrote that he'd finished the race and was walking in Boston Common with his family when the bombs went off. “It wasn’t until we heard sirens, then we knew something had happened.”
Authorities say bombs caused the blasts, according to the The Associated Press (See full AP story below this story). Bloody spectators were being carried away from the scene. There are reportedly multiple amputations, at least 25-30 people have at least one leg missing or an ankle missing or two legs missing according to Roupen Bastajian, a state trooper from Greenville, Rhode Island who had just finished the race.
Here is a link to help people locate runners who participated in the marathon who have not been in contact: http://google.org/personfinder/2013-boston-explosions
Following are the bib numbers, names, ages, sex, and city in Alaska where other entrants are from. Be advised that phone service has been very spotty since the blasts according to the Bursells.
(Bib, name, age, sex, city)
17779 Aften, Heather A. 41 F Anchorage
17615 Anderson, Kristina M. 45 F Anchorage
10107 Baxter, Michelle 30 F Anchorage
5095 Bera, Jacob 35 M Chugiak
6010 Betts, Steven 37 M Fairbanks
1028 Bursell, John 49 M Juneau
16508 Castaneda, Rafael 57 M Anchorage
285 Chu, Steve 30 M Eielson Afb
12896 Cravez, Erin M. 23 F Anchorage
9208 Crossett, Clay 52 M Anchorage
7206 Crow, Matt T 42 M Anchorage
9841 Cunningham, Brent K 46 M Sitka
20570 Diel, Mary E 55 F Anchorage
12048 Faulkner, Susan 54 F Fairbanks
14348 Ferguson, John B 56 M Anchorage
13615 Finstad, Greg 58 M Fairbanks
12914 Flagel, Stanley F. 50 M Anchorage
6986 Freiberg, Matthew 42 M Anchorage
20874 Friedman, Liz 64 F Palmer
13551 Heath, Katie L 31 F Eagle River
15015 Heinrich, Jessica 33 F Anchorage
15793 Holland, Andy 56 M Fairbanks
25113 Hurkett, Sarah 30 F Eagle River
5165 Johnston, David 43 M Wasilla
16672 Kiely, Don 55 M Fairbanks
20970 Kleedehn, Sarah A. 60 F Anchorage
2977 Leblond, Jane 38 F Fairbanks
5491 Lindberg, Mark S 50 M Fairbanks
14041 Marin, Lisa P 52 F Anchorage
23859 McCarty, Thomas A. 59 M Anchorage
16186 Moronell, Tina 48 F Anchorage
19224 Pelkan, Kathleen 51 F Bethel
20818 Rogers, Sharon L. 61 F Fairbanks
8514 Sedlacek, Brittany 27 F Anchorage
15782 Spayd, Roberta 39 F Anchorage
15026 Valley, Howard W 64 M Kodiak
14191 Ward, Andrea D. 45 F Anchorage
9541 Wheatall, Michael 52 M Anchorage
17427 Wheeler, Polly 51 F Anchorage
UPDATE: 2 killed as bombs explode at Boston Marathon
By JIMMY GOLEN
The Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) — Two bombs exploded in the crowded streets near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing at least three people and injuring more than 140 in a bloody scene of shattered glass and severed limbs that raised alarms that terrorists might have struck again in the U.S.
A White House official speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still unfolding said the attack was being treated as an act of terrorism.
President Barack Obama vowed that those responsible will "feel the full weight of justice."
As many as two unexploded bombs were also found near the end of the 26.2-mile course as part of what appeared to be a well-coordinated attack, but they were safely disarmed, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation.
The fiery twin blasts took place about 10 seconds and about 100 yards apart, knocking spectators and at least one runner off their feet, shattering windows and sending dense plumes of smoke rising over the street and through the fluttering national flags lining the route. Blood stained the pavement, and huge shards were missing from window panes as high as three stories.
"They just started bringing people in with no limbs," said runner Tim Davey of Richmond, Va. He said he and his wife, Lisa, tried to shield their children's eyes from the gruesome scene inside a medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners, but "they saw a lot."
"They just kept filling up with more and more casualties," Lisa Davey said. "Most everybody was conscious. They were very dazed."
As the FBI took charge of the investigation, authorities shed no light on a motive or who may have carried out the bombings, and police said they had no suspects in custody. Officials in Washington said there was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Police said three people were killed. An 8-year-old boy was among the dead, according to a person who talked to a friend of the family and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Hospitals reported at least 144 people injured, at least 17 of them critically. The victims' injuries included broken bones, shrapnel wounds and ruptured eardrums.
At Massachusetts General Hospital, Alisdair Conn, chief of emergency services, said: "This is something I've never seen in my 25 years here ... this amount of carnage in the civilian population. This is what we expect from war."
Some 23,000 runners took part in the race, one of the world's oldest and most prestigious marathons.
One of Boston's biggest annual events, the race winds up near Copley Square, not far from the landmark Prudential Center and the Boston Public Library. It is held on Patriots Day, which commemorates the first battles of the American Revolution, at Concord and Lexington in 1775.
Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis asked people to stay indoors or go back to their hotel rooms and avoid crowds as bomb squads methodically checked parcels and bags left along the race route. He said investigators didn't know whether the bombs were hidden in mailboxes or trash cans.
He said authorities had received "no specific intelligence that anything was going to happen" at the race.
The Federal Aviation Administration barred low-flying aircraft within 3.5 miles of the site.
"We still don't know who did this or why," Obama said at the White House, adding, "Make no mistake: We will get to the bottom of this."
With scant official information to guide them, members of Congress said there was little or no doubt it was an act of terrorism.
"We just don't know whether it's foreign or domestic," said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
A few miles away from the finish line and around the same time, a fire broke out at the John F. Kennedy Library. The police commissioner said that it may have been caused by an incendiary device but that it was not clear whether it was related to the bombings.
The first explosion occurred on the north side of Boylston Street, just before the finish line, and some people initially thought it was a celebratory cannon blast.
When the second bomb went off, spectators' cheers turned to screams. As sirens blared, emergency workers and National Guardsmen who had been assigned to the race for crowd control began climbing over and tearing down temporary fences to get to the blast site.
The bombings occurred about four hours into the race and two hours after the men's winner crossed the finish line. By that point, more than 17,000 of the athletes had finished the marathon, but thousands more were still running.
The attack may have been timed for maximum carnage: The four-hour mark is typically a crowded time near the finish line because of the slow-but-steady recreational runners completing the race and because of all the friends and relatives clustered around to cheer them on.
Runners in the medical tent for treatment of dehydration or other race-related ills were pushed out to make room for victims of the bombing.
A woman who was a few feet from the second bomb, Brighid Wall, 35, of Duxbury, said that when it exploded, runners and spectators froze, unsure of what to do. Her husband threw their children to the ground, lay on top of them and another man lay on top of them and said, "Don't get up, don't get up."
After a minute or so without another explosion, Wall said, she and her family headed to a Starbucks and out the back door through an alley. Around them, the windows of the bars and restaurants were blown out.
She said she saw six to eight people bleeding profusely, including one man who was kneeling, dazed, with blood trickling down his head. Another person was on the ground covered in blood and not moving.
"My ears are zinging. Their ears are zinging," Wall said. "It was so forceful. It knocked us to the ground."
Competitors and race volunteers were crying as they fled the chaos. Authorities went onto the course to carry away the injured, while race stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site.
Roupen Bastajian, a state trooper from Smithfield, R.I., had just finished the race when he heard the blasts.
"I started running toward the blast. And there were people all over the floor," he said. "We started grabbing tourniquets and started tying legs. A lot of people amputated. ... At least 25 to 30 people have at least one leg missing, or an ankle missing, or two legs missing."
The race honored the victims of the Newtown, Conn., shooting with a special mile marker in Monday's race.
Boston Athletic Association president Joanne Flaminio previously said there was "special significance" to the fact that the race is 26.2 miles long and 26 people died at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Associated Press writers Jay Lindsay, Steve LeBlanc, Bridget Murphy and Meghan Barr in Boston; Julie Pace, Lara Jakes and Eileen Sullivan in Washington; and Marilynn Marchione in Milwaukee contributed to this report.
© 2013 The Associated Press.