An eight-year-old is among those confirmed dead, while more than 100 are being treated at hospitals in the city.
THERE have been multiple deaths after two explosions ripped through crowds gathered at the finishing line of the Boston marathon, in a terrorist attack on America.
The Patriot’s Day massacre, according to some reports in US media, has resulted in the deaths of up to 12 people, with more than 100 injured.
Two blasts went off within quick succession as runners came down the home straight towards the finish line on Boylston Street, where the Irish consulate is also located.
In a press conference from the White House US President Barack Obama said that authorities “will get to the bottom of this”. "We still do not know who did this or why," he said. "People shouldn't jump to conclusions before we have the facts. Make no mistake, we'll find out who did this and why they did this. Any responsible individuals or groups will feel the full weight of justice.
The scene, which had moments earlier been a picture of celebration as competitors, many of them fun-runners made their way over the line at 2.45pm local time.
There were scene reports that 10 people had amputated limbs. Many victims are being treated at Massachusetts General Hospital. The number of triage staff is regularly heightened on marathon day in order to cope with the number of injured runners, although additional staff have been brought in to cope with the injured masses.
At the most recent press conference, Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis would not confirm the number of deaths. “There are fatalities, I won’t get into the details,” he said. “There are people who have expired as a result of this.”
As for where exactly the bomb could have been stored, he added: “We don’t know.”
"There are a number of parcels that have been brought by people on the parade route. Anything brought by people is being treated as a suspicious device," he added.
There is a heightened police presence in the surrounding areas. “There are police that have been dispatched to all hospitals, as is our protocol. There’s a heavy police presence at all hospitals, hotels and other venues in the city. Don’t read too much into that,” he said.
Mr Davis said they are "stabilising the situation", but has urged people to still take caution.
Earlier this evening, there were reports that a suspect was in custody, but Mr Davis explained that there are “questioning many people” at this time.
“Those reports are not true,” he said. “We’re questioning many people, but there’s no one in custody. At this point in time, it’s still too early to get into specifics.”
He explained that authorities "had no information this was going to happen" ahead of time. Mr Davis would not say whether or not the bombs were a result of a terrorist attack, instead replying when prompted:
"You can reach your own conclusions based upon what happened.”
"Every asset of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is either here, or coming here. The President has talked to the mayor and the governor, and I had a personal conversation with the director of the FBI. We are stabilising the situation at this time, but people should be cautious."
Authorities are urging people to stay as far away as possible from the finishing line and nearby area.
In New York, the NYPD anti-terror units have been deployed at landmarks and other potential targets of terrorists. Authorities are currently looking for a third explosive in the Boston hotel building, which is on lockdown.
President Obama gave an emotionally charged speech in which he attempt to reunite the fragmented spirits of the American people. "On days like today, there are no Republicans and Democrats, we are Americans united in concern for our fellow citizens.
"All Americans stand by the people of Boston. To the police, the firefighters and the National Guard who responded so heroically and continue to do so, as we speak. You are a reminder of the Americans who sacrifice on our behalf every day.
"We still do not know who did this or why. People shouldn't jump to conclusions before we have the facts. Make no mistake, we'll find out who did this and why they did this. Any responsible individuals or groups will feel the full weight of justice.
"Bostonians will pull together and move together. The American people will be with them every step of the way.
"As we get information, our teams will provide briefings. We are still in the investigation stage at this point. We'll find out who did this and hold them accountable."
The street on which the attacks occurred at the end of the marathon