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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A "controlled explosion" was announced an hour after two bombs went off at the Boston Marathon finish line within a second of each other. However, authorities later waved off the incident as the result of an apparent electrical fire.

ABC News reported that an explosion was heard at 3:55 p.m., a minute after a Boston Globe Tweet announcing that the explosion was imminent.

If indeed the bomb squad did set off a third device, questions arise, questions that the press does not appear to have addressed:

Why did that bomb not go off? Was its timer or cell phone link bad?

Did authorities discover a black backpack and decide to clear the area and electronically, or otherwise, trigger it?

Who planted the bomb? The two fatal bombs were reportedly carried to the scene in backpacks worn by each brother. Perhaps that device was dropped off by the brothers in a separate trip. But this is a question that should be examined.

Instead what we have is cursory media coverage and a statement that the third explosion was simply the result of an unrelated electrical fire. The source of that statement may have been unaware of the Globe's Tweet announcing an explosion.

News reports leave questions

From a Google description of an ABC page (the first link went bad after I visited it, so I included the alternate link, which changes the time from 3:54 p.m. to 4:55 p.m.):

LIVE UPDATES: Boston Marathon Explosion - ABC News
Apr 15, 2013 ... 3:55 p.m. ET: Police set off controlled explosion in Boston. Third explosion heard.
3:54 p.m. ET: Marathon's website tracking runners who ...

LIVE UPDATES: Boston Marathon Explosion - ABC News
Apr 15, 2013 ... 5:37 p.m. ET: Boston police now say library incident was likely an ... 4:11 p.m. ET:
Boston Fire Department to brief media at 4:30 p.m. at Westin Hotel. ... 3:54 p.m.
ET: Marathon's website tracking runners who completed the ...
Message Boards - "Two explosions at Boston Marathon finish line ... - Cached
The Boston Police did confirm that there was a controlled detonation of a
suspicious device, not an additional explosion. .... The JFK Library incident is
reportedly an unrelated electrical fire
. ... ABC news reporting that police are
telling people in the area to NOT use their cell ... Posted: 4/15/2013 3:54:29 PM ...

From the ABC page:

4:55 p.m. ET: There was also a controlled explosion on Boylston St., not one of the three incidents, says Commissioner Ed Davis. [According to a Davis Tweet, there was to be a "controlled explosion" on Charles Street.  That Tweet carries a time and date of "4:02 AM - 19 Apr 13," which apparently does not accord with events.]

[We note that it seems likely the Globe "controlled explosion" Tweet occurred at 3:54 p.m., there being a three-hour time difference between Twitter's headquarters in California and Boston. (At first, I assumed 2:54 p.m. for the Tweet, but that is a questionable assumption.)]

The Tweet said the explosion was to occur across from the library, but then apparently there was backtracking alleging an electrical fire at the library.

Media coverage of these (this?) event remains scanty.

Here's the ABC timeline I found on the second ABC link:

6:34 a.m. ET: ABC News has confirmed that at least 145 people are injured following the Boston Marathon attack and 17 of those are critical injuries.

6:15 a.m. ET: ABC News’ Boston affiliate WCVB reports the 8-year-old victim has been identified as Martin Richard. A single candle was placed in front of his home overnight in Dorchester, Mass.

1:30 a.m. ET: Teams of federal and local law enforcement agents searched an apparently vacant fifth floor apartment on Ocean Avenue in the Boston suburb of Revere just hours after a pair of bombings at the Boston Marathon, residents told ABC News.

12:47 a.m. ET: Sources tell ABC News authorities are looking for any friends and associates of the 20-year-old Saudi national.

12:07 a.m. ET: ABC News’ Aaron Katersky reports the working theory about the bombs, according ti Massachusetts law enforcement, is that they were small, crudely made devices hidden in bags or backpacks, planted either during the race or immediately prior and detonated remotely, possibly with a cell phone.  Officials here have subpoenaed cellphone records.

11:50 p.m. ET: ABC News can confirm that one of the people law enforcement officials are talking to is a 20-year-old Saudi national at a Boston hospital. Sources tell ABC News that he is here legally on a student visa and that his visa is clean with no apparent criminal history.

Boston police tonight, at a news conference, said that there are people they are talking to, but no suspects.

10:35 p.m. ET: Ron M. Walls, chairman of Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, told reporters that the hospital has 29 total patients, 8 of whom are in critical condition. Walls said that the only shrapnel they have seen in injured victims is material from the street – bits of metal, soda cans and anything that was really close to a blast and became fragmented. He said there have been no reports of ball bearings or anything that seemed as if it may have been placed into the explosion to cause more damage.

FULL C OVERAGE: Boston Marathon Explosion

9:27 p.m. ET: ABC News has revised its estimate of the total number of patients initially sent to hospitals to at least 133.

9:17: p.m. ET: Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis : “I offer my sympathies to the families impacted by this horrible tragedy. Those responsible will be brought to justice.”

8:56 p.m. ET: The Boston Police Department has said that it does not have a suspect in custody.

8:54 p.m. ET: Three people have died, according to a tweet from the Boston Police Department.

8:03 pm ET: At least 115 people injured in Boston Marathon bombing, according to law enforcement officials.

7:22 p.m. ET:  An 8-year-old child is among those killed in the Boston bombings, a law enforcement source confirmed to ABC News.

6:41 p.m. ET: ABC News has revised its estimate of the number of people  injured in the Boston Marathon bombing incident  to at least 99 people.

6:29 p.m. ET: Boston hospitals report “multiple amputations” among those injured at Boston Marathon.

6:13 p.m. ET: “We will find out who did this and we will hold them accountable,” says President Obama.

6:12 p.m. ET:  We do not know who did this or why… But make no mistake. We will get to the bottom of this,” says President Obama.

6:11 p.m. ET: “On days like this there are no Republicans and Democrats,” says President Obama.

6:10 p.m. ET: President Obama is now addressing the nation.
ht obama white house nt 130415 wblog LIVE UPDATES: Boston Marathon Explosion

President Barack Obama talks on the phone with FBI Director Robert Mueller to receive an update on the explosions that occurred in Boston

6:04 p.m. ET: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D- Calif., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, tells ABC News: ”It is a terrorist incident. …  It could be foreign, it could be homegrown.”  She said the attack had the “hallmarks” of a terror attack.

6:02 p.m. ET: ATF agents have descended on Brigham and Women’s hospital where they’re questioning one potential person of interest.

5:56 p.m. ET: At least 86 people have been taken to area hospitals, according to a tally by ABC News.

5:48 p.m. ET: FAA lifts restrictions on air travel over Boston. Logan Airport has been reopened.

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