tv ABC2 News at 530PM ABC April 15, 2013 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT
might not be able to get the intelligence about it beforehand. as martha just said, no specific threats, this is the scenario that law enforcement officials have been worried about for some time. and it happened. >> as you said, it happened a and -- hadn't happened more often here in the united states. >> indeed. we are a free society, a democratic society where people congregate, go to concerts and live their lives. they have been concerned for some time that someone would think about that in this scenario where you have large numbers of people enjoying themselves and a blast like this would do considerable damage even though there would not have to be large in scale. >> okay, pierre thomas, thanks very much. i know you're going to continue to report. right now a little after 5:30 here on the east coast. let's give you all the information we have right now on what happened here at the boston marathon.
shortly before 3:00 p.m. this afternoon two explosions in short succession, about ten seconds apart, right now we know from police and other sources two dead, 23 injured, at least 23 injured right now being treated at various hospitals in the boston area. the bombs have been described by federal officials to our pierre thomas as small portable devices according to the a.p., associated press, two additional devices were found although police commissioner edward davis said no other additional devices had been found but there had been a third explosion at the john f. kennedy library in boston. at least 68 patients including children have been admitted to hospitals in the area. and we have heard from eyewitnesses and others on the scene that some of these injuries very serious. talk of severed limbs, severe burns including children. dozens of shrapnel-type wounds. and as we said the fire at the john f. kennedy library is being investigated as related but officials can't confirm they are related. you see right there the map of
the area this occurred. right near the finish line of the boston marathon separated the john f. kennedy library is closer to the river there in boston. we want to go back to that moment and show you that video. police have been calling for all video to be sent in right now of the explosions. there was the first explosion right near the finish line of the boston marathon. and as you listen for it a few seconds later an explosion with huge concussive power. immediately you had officials rushing in to begin their response. that was the scene shortly before 3:00. i want to go now to one of the hospitals in the boston area. ron, can you help me out and tell me exactly where you are? >> yes. level one trauma center not too far from the finish line in
boston. >> and what is the scene there right now? and do you have any sense of how many people are being treated? >> we have treated 26 patients altogether here since the blast happened. we've been in -- we have five trauma teams still standing by although we're ready to stand down now and most patients have had minor to moderate injuries although we have had some serious injuries but no deaths. >> 26 people have been treated at your medical center, the brigham medical center. but most of those you said not serious. reports from other hospitals in the area, mass general of more serious injuries, but do you believe that you've now treated everyone that's going to be coming in? >> our understanding in communicating with the local disaster response is that everyone has been transported. so we've had two critical patients and about eight
seriously injured. and the rest have injuries but are going to be fine. >> and what kind of injuries are we talking about here? >> typically with a blast injury you get the effects of the blast itself, the first concussive effects that's how limbs are damaged and severed. and you get shrapnel that flies through and penetrates. and you also get different kinds of orthopedic injuries all the way down to people whose ears basically get sort of concussed or blown out by the blast itself. >> and this is shrapnel from the area? i've heard from other reports where police have been referring to perhaps pipe bombs that might have been filled with some kind of, you know, ball bearings or other kinds of devices to be designed to send out destructive shrapnel. any reports like that? >> we haven't seen any evidence of that. the type of shrapnel we've seen here would be the type that you would see with any kind of blast in an area like that where there are things that can become
projectile. >> from what you've seen at brigham and womens hospital 26 people injured, several seriously and critically injured but no deaths so far. and you believe as you said that you've dealt with the worst of it so far? >> yes, we still have our team standing by, but we think we're well over the top now. >> okay, ron wolf, thank you very much. we're looking at more pictures of the scene immediately after the explosions that occurred here on patriots day in boston, the 117th boston marathon right near the finish line where so many people have gathered. all right. to celebrate, to send their loved ones across the finish line shattered shortly before 3:00 p.m. this afternoon. dozens injured in area hospitals being treated right now as we just heard from ron. perhaps brigham and womens hospital the worst is over. i want to go back to john karl at the white house. we've also heard of a moment of
silence, john, on the floor of the house of representatives. today, the president has gathered his team to deal with this, but no other plans or specific action from the president right now? >> no specific public action from the president, but i'll tell you, this is issue number one here as you can imagine, george. the president has been on the phone with the fbi director. he has been briefed by the homeland security secretary. he has been in with his homeland security advisor. and up on capitol hill as you mentioned speaker of the house john boehner will be leading that moment of silence at 6:30. this is the kind of terror -- you know, again, no confirmation as to who is behind this, but this is the kind of attack that has been feared really since those days immediately after september 11th. the fear that soft targets would be hit. you know, we have all kinds of security around the major hard targets here at the white house up on capitol hill. but this is the kind of major public event that there is
simply no way to have complete security at. and this is precisely what has been feared. so the president monitoring this on the phone with his fbi director just a short while ago. >> and the news did hit hard in the capitol as we said for a moment of silence. congressman daryl issa. >> i would ask that the house take a moment to recognize the loss of life in boston as this tragedy continues to unfold. >> thank you, mr. speaker. >> moment of silence for the victims of these two explosions in boston. the boston marathon being run this year in honor of the victims of newtown, a special flag with 26 stars for the 26 victims of newtown.
now several dozen injured in boston today after those two explosions, two confirmed dead. i do want to go to fbi -- former fbi special agent brad garrett and pick up on the conversation we were having with pierre thomas just moments ago. brad, take us to what exactly the fbi is going to be combing through right now and what kind of clues they're going to be looking for. >> well, obviously as pierre mentioned they're going to be looking at the bomb and the make up of the bomb. that may give you some indicators to a particular group. i will tell you, george, this maybe has more the flavor of a domestic extremist group than it does an international group. now, we don't know that. >> why do you say that? >> well, the reason i say that is you're not -- it appears to me with preliminary information that you're not looking at somebody that was trying to cause mass casualties because of the nature and the explosion itself that they were trying to make a statement. and i add to this and this is just me, george, is that you are
in that window of april 15th to april 20th when we've had a number of domestic extremist events. oklahoma city, columbine, virginia tech. some people say they are driven to a certain extent because hitler's birthday is on april 20th. i'm not suggesting that's connected to this, i'm merely throwing it out that this would not surprise me if this was some local extremist group trying to make a statement because of this particular day. >> does it surprise you or does it say anything to you that no one, no group, no individual has come forward in the almost three hours since the explosion to take responsibility? >> no. because extremist groups, local ones like let's say a neonazi or a patriot group are not going to come forward initially. and the thing of it is this may not be well group-driven, george. this may be driven by an individual or two people who align themselves with a particular domestic extremist
organization and decided to do this on their own, which also would not surprise me. >> but at this point, the fbi and law enforcement officials, they would not rule out any possibilities, correct? >> oh, absolutely not. i'm not suggesting the window needs to be narrow, but i would look intently -- intensely at what information they had about different extremist groups. there's a lot of public service information about demonstrations on taxes, on a number of other issues that are hot button issues for extremist groups who don't like either what the government's doing or what the government represents. >> okay. well, brad garrett, thanks very much for that. we are continuing to get video from the scene there. that was in the moments after the explosion. i don't know, is richard clarke still with us? let me get back to pierre thomas instead.
pierre, from what you're talking to we just heard brad garrett and he's carefully calibrating what he said right now, but are you getting any indication from law enforcement officials right now that they have any idea who might have been behind this? >> again, too early according to my sources. they will have a list of the usual suspects that they will put on the table. but really the key is to try to get that information from the scene to point them in a particular direction. but until that happens, when they have a particular avenue to pursue. what they will look at is they'll go back over all intelligence, some of it which may have been deemed not credible, did they miss anything? they'll comb back through the previous intelligence leading up to today specifically anything that came into the boston area or the east coast. and they'll begin to look back. did we discount anything? did we blow anything away that we thought was not credible that we now know may be credible?
that will be part of this. >> believe now they hadn't gotten any specific threat or warning on a second or third or fourth look they might be able to find the kind of clue that perhaps they missed the first time. >> exactly. they always do post particularly when something like this happens did we discount anything that shouldn't have been discounted? it's literally all hands on deck. the intelligence community is pulsing right now and trying to get additional information, looking back at the information flow for the last few days to make sure they didn't miss anything. also, there will be public and internet postings they will look at to see if anyone's claiming credit or anyone is expressing joy at what happened. every aspect is going to be looked at. >> and, pierre, help me out here. i'm trying to rack my brain as you think of the recent domestic
bombing occurrence. we've seen them on military bases. we've seen it in times square. we've seen it in front of federal buildings and other targets, but to the best of my memory i can't remember one at a major sporting event like this. >> i cannot recall. that's long been a concern. but as we talk about earlier today, it's tax day, it's patriot day. this is a time, a situation where anti-government rhetoric is high. again, you have the waco conflict, oklahoma city bombing happened around this time. all that will be looked at as well as international threats. everything, again, is on the table until they can point it in a specific direction to pursue. >> okay. pierre, thanks so much. i want to go to john karl right now as we're learning the ground toll in logan has been lifted. we expect to hear from the president? >> that's right, george. we're going to hear an address to the nation from the president at 6:10 eastern time here talking about what's happened in
boston. and shortly after that there will be another moment of silence on the house floor this one led by the speaker of the house. but we expect to hear from the president at 6:10 p.m. here at the white house. >> so we'll learn -- already we've heard from the governor of massachusetts deval patrick, the police commissioner of boston telling us what they knew shortly after 4:30 all they could confirm were the two explosions near the finish line of the boston marathon. a third explosion at the john f. kennedy library. no injuries or no other devices according to the police commissioner of boston have been found at this point. but authorities taking no chances. the federal aviation administration closing the air space above the explosion site near the finish line right after took place we've seen the mayors of new york and los angeles and baltimore, washington, d.c., all taking security precautions as well. pennsylvania avenue in front of
the white house has been closed as well. and, martha, again we're hearing from pierre and brad some speculation that perhaps this is an incident of domestic terror, but this would also be law enforcement officials, mass security officials would also post all of their sources and ties to international terrorism as well. >> absolutely the widest net possible i would imagine, george and diane. they were looking for specific people. they are looking for specific causes. they are looking for specific beeves against whoever they're targeting. so i think they will cast a very, very wide net worldwide. as pierre said, all the usual suspects, that means worldwide. and then they will try to narrow that down, rule that out. they will bring together everybody they possibly can to try to figure out who did this. >> and brad garrett, you know, we seed video on the scene. everyone's got a camera these days.
and we've seen so many surveillance cameras on streets, in stores, in malls all across the country. this is going to be a tremendous effort in the next 24 hours, we've also heard the police commissioner of boston calling for more video to be sent in as officials go through all of this tape from the scene to sift through every possible clue. >> well, that's right, george. i think it's somewhat likely they will have captured someone placing the device in a trash can or some other fixed object where this went off unless it was just a backpack that was dropped. because i'm going to guess that it had not been there very long. and to go back to what martha said earlier, this is probably either a cell phone or a delayed bomb that goes off and they went off about five seconds apart. so i suspect there is some rich intel in either cctv or what someone locally has captured perhaps on their cell phone. >> so you think there's a decent chance they might actually be
able to see something like this being done in the moments, minutes or even hours before the explosions went off? >> yes. i do. obviously it depends on how cameras are structured in boston, but i think it's very possible that they can see an individual walk up, drop a backpack and go on. and, you know, obviously this could be very good leads. >> and we're just learning now the boston police, brad, are tweeting the john f. kennedy library incident appears to be fire-related. would that suggest to you that this is unrelated and perhaps not part of the same kind of event or coordinated action in different parts of the city? >> it sounds like it's just coincidental. that they had some sort of electrical fire issue at the library and it's not related to these two. but, you know, that certainly remains to be seen. i suspect we're really going to deal with these two primary explosions, they are related. and who is behind these two?
>> and help me out here as well. with something like assuming for the moment and we just don't know but assuming for the moment that it is limited to these two, is that the kind of thing that can be done by a lone wolf? or would someone need help to pull that off? >> absolutely a lone wolf could do this. to build a bomb like this and load it up with nails, barbed wire, anything readily available in an hour or two on the internet you could build one of these and put it in a backpack. >> so just isn't that difficult to do. >> no. and we've just been lucky over the years that other people have not tried this. >> that's what i want to talk to you because pierre and i were talking about this a few moments ago. there's been so much concern among homeland security officials for the last several years that this would be the next step by terrorists whether domestic or international. they would go after these small
targets with lower, less sophisticated devices trying to create some kind of chaos even if they're not going to maximize killing. how do you explain why we haven't seen more of it? >> because i suspect they feel like it just hasn't been worth it. to blow maybe a bomb, two bombs up like this one doesn't get them enough bang for the buck. now, if you separate that from an al qaeda-driven group to a local extremist or domestic extremist group, they're of a different mindset. and so they would use a lower compression, lower impact bomb that's something they could make on their own. again, we don't really know. i would say that they really got to look at what is the makeup of this bomb and it's going to give them a lot of information. >> that brings us to our next guest. thank you, brad garrett. kevin, you serve on the new york bomb squad. try and give us some insight
into what boston officials on the scene right there are going to be doing, what they're going to be looking for in that area. >> right now their biggest concern is any secondary or additional devices that may be along the route. public safety is the most important at this moment. they're most concerned about the public. once they've cleared the entire area, they'll go to examining the scene of the explosion. and they will bring up everything that is forensically recoverable. this will be an all-out effort led by probably the joint task force from fbi and boston. but all resources within the u.s. will be put into this investigation. >> help me out with a definition here. forensically recoverable, what does that mean? >> that means fragmentation, if there's any timing device or what the container was, whether there was an outside container that it was brought in disguise enter the perimeter of the
parade. any dna, fingerprints, kevlar residue and anything else to find out the source of the explosive and built it and where it came from. >> and where to find information like that, little pieces of information, how do they go about tracing it back? >> they can actually recover as much of it as they can and recreate and actually -- if it's a pipe bomb, they can actually get enough fragmentation and rebuild it and put it together, identify the size of it, possibly the manufacturer, then go back to the sources where it was purchased. all that is pain stakingly done by the teams on the scene. >> and what you've seen from the explosions and we've had this report from pierre thomas of two portable devices according to federal law enforcement officials, what does that tell you about what might have
happened here? >> from what i could see in the video, i haven't had a clear view of the exact location, but the device if placed up against the building, the building enhanced the blast by pushing it out towards the crowd that was facing the runners. it appears to me that from the smoke and fireball that it may have been either smokeless powder or black powder as the explosive filler. >> and then so you're saying it was most likely outside the store and then the concussion would bounce off. >> yes. the explosive effects, the energy would the first thing it would do is hit the solid building behind the crowd and then it would force it to bounce over that wall and go in the opposite direction. >> and we've heard from brad garrett that perhaps this wasn't a bomb designed to maximize casualties. clearly dozens have been injured
and two dead as well. anything you can tell about the power from what we've been able to see? >> well, the fact is you do have fragmentation which may indicate that it had a heavy steel container, possibly a pipe bomb, possibly a cast iron container. and that withheld the explosive charge. and it builds up enough energy to cause it to fracture. and then it adds to the blast injuries. it effectively tries to increase the kill ratio. we don't know yet whether there were nails or ball bearings added to the device. those are added by bomb builders for shrapnel and kill rate. >> and talking about this as well. a device like this perhaps not all that difficult to make? >> not at all difficult to make. the information is out there on the internet. but any device that functions is deadly because you know it
works. >> okay. kevin, thank you very much for your expertise there. gives a lot of context into what might have happened here. i want to go now to dr. allen painter, a doctor treating patients coming in in the emergency room. doctor, thank you for joining us. which hospital were you working at? >> actually, i was not. i was on the street where the bomb went off. >> on the street where the bomb went off. tell us what happened. >> about halfway down the stands opposite of the stands apparently a bomb went off about 20 feet from where i was standing. i couldn't tell where it came from store front or the trash can. i was told it was maybe the trash can. about 60 people went down on my left and i was the last one in the line, so i did not get a scratch. >> even though six or seven people next to you went down? >> yes. >> with what kind of injuries? >> most of them were leg injuries. one gentleman had both legs
blown off. the girl that i treated i could not find any obvious injury to her torso, but she arrested. >> oh, my goodness. i'm so sorry. how old a girl? >> she looked to be between 24 and 30. >> and just the concussive power of the explosion. >> that's what i assume. it was kind of unique that the people had singed facial hair and stuff, which didn't seem to fit on their face, but the injuries were on their legs. and not much injury between the torso at all. i have to assume this was a blast injury to her chest. >> that is so hard to hear. i am so sorry. what you're reporting is consistent with what we're hearing from so many of the hospitals in the area. so many injuries to the lower legs and limbs. remind me again how far do you think you were from the point of
the explosion? >> probably 20 feet, one store front and down. my ears were ringing. one store front down from me. like i said, everybody to my left basically went down. and like i said, almost everybody had leg injuries, but the girl arrested and i could not find any on her torso. >> wow. well, that is as close as we've heard from anybody right now just 20 feet from the scene. dr. painter, thank you very much for sharing that. with that i want to go back now to martha at this point we're seeing these things continuing. of the area around the blast, two blasts at 2:50, we just heard from dr. panter right there, injuries that were concentrated for the most part injuries to the lower limbs, but a lot of power there. he was lucky simply to be able to get away from this. what more have you been able to
learn from federal officials about these explosions? >> basically, george, exactly what we've seen. i mean, they are on the scene trying to find out whatever they can in terms of shrapnel, in terms of evidence that they're finding on the scene. but those kinds of injuries are exactly what's consistent with that type of blast, those lower leg injuries. i know soldiers on patrol often suffer those lower torso leg injuries because of the blast, because of the power of a blast like that. and its concentration. and, again, these are people who are out there in shorts and t-shirts, absolutely no protection. and placing a device in the middle of a crowd like that, you are going to get terrible, terrible injuries like that. >> we heard from one eyewitness on the scene. lived in boston for a long time as well. it seems to be timed from the moment when more and more people would be congregating near that
finish line several hours after the winners have crossed though a lot of friends and family members would be coming and a lot of the parties would be starting in late afternoon in all of those bars, all of those restaurants, all of those hotels around that scene. we've already heard several of the hotels in lockdown and evacuated. >> it is exactly the time when friends and family would be gathering. there's the crowd that comes early. there's the crowd that wants to see the winners. and there's the crowd that loves it for fun. the crowd that really wants to finish one of those marathons and see their family member cross that finish line. looking at that blast to me and seeing those people just about to cross the finish line is really heartbreaking. but that is precisely clearly what the bomber was trying to do, get those spectators, get those runners, place that bomb or those devices right in the middle of a crowd that was coming together to do nothing but celebrate. >> and, martha, we're also
hearing from senator diane feinstein, the senate chair of the terrorist committee, she has called this a terrorist incident, but that doesn't necessarily describe who might have been behind it. >> it doesn't really. i think anybody is going to look at an incident like this and say it was related to terrorism some way because they were going after a crowd. they were going after a crowd of innocence like that. but it doesn't really mean mean it was domestic or international. again, we want to remember the times square bombing, thinking back to olympic park bombing many, many years ago, there are a variety of suspects they will be looking at here, both domestic and international. >> okay, martha rads ats. thank you very much. it's 6:00 on the east coast. for the last few hours we've been reporting on the explosion at the boston mayor than pop two bomb blasts at the boft an marathon. at least two have died. dozens injured, including children. many reports of severed limbs from eye wps witnesses a