tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC April 15, 2013 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
country and the abc news team standing by at the scene on the latest at the boston marathon. our special one-hour edition of "world news" begins. good evening. as we come on the air, cities around this nation are on heightened alert. today a proud holiday in boston, patriots' day, marathon monday, was shattered by bombs. here's the video, it was the moment before it changed and there the first booming explosion, towering smoke, you can hear the screams. people thrown to the ground. and there, seconds later, a second blast, a ball of fire a block away, as half a million people lined the streets of boston. so many with devastating injuries tonight and our abc
news team is ready to bring you the very latest. we start with abc's senior national correspondent jim avila. >> reporter: two hours after the winners crossed, four hours, nine minutes into the race, the amateur runners still filling boston's streets. two rapid-fire explosions at the finish line. >> something just blew up. >> run! >> reporter: turning the boston marathon into what one hospital official called a war zone. >> i was at the 26-mile marker, i saw the first explosion happen. there was commotion, i saw fire and smoke. i didn't know what it was. from about me to where that gentleman is standing over there, i saw the garbage barrel explode. i saw the flash, the fire, the smoke, and i ran fast as i could. >> cameras rolling from many
angles as the blast knocks over one of the marathoners. most of the injuries suffered from spectators who came to celebrate the finish. >> a bomb went off and it knocked me to the ground. and then, you know, everybody started running. panicking, and another bomb went off. and then i felt the ground again, people running, you were getting trampled. >> it was very loud. the ground shook, you could just feel it going down through you. just a scary scene. >> reporter: right next to the finish line, bleachers filled with spectators, stunned and confused by the first blast, then watch in horror as 50 to a hundred yards away, a second explosion. eyewitnesses say the injured were piled on the sidewalk, severed limbs littering the street, onlookers comforting each other as the violence and chaos engulfed them. >> i saw quite a few casualties, one guy with his legs gone at
the knees. ankles and feet missing, shrapnel wounds on the side of the head. >> reporter: the two bombs described by authorities as small explosive devices, there was no warning, no advance threat, but paramedics, national guard and police were already on the scene for the marathon's security and medical needs. they sped into action, announcing two dead almost immediately and carrying 80 injured into the race medical tent before being sent to six boston hospitals. police at the initial press conference warning downtown boston to stay calm, but the streets were not safe. >> they recommended to people that they stay home, that if they're in motels in the area, that they return to their rooms, and that they don't go any place and congregate in large crowds. we want to stabilize the situation. >> initial reports of other bombs in the area, now discounted by police. an incident at the library now
appears to be unrelated, a mechanical fire. >> thanks so much. thinking about law enforcement, keep remembering hearing how they ran straight into the danger, not thinking. in seconds they were there. we want to go to our colleague who is a reporter at our boston affiliate. we heard that hospital officials said it was like a war zone. what's the latest you're hearing on the victims? >> the latest number we're getting from emergency rooms is 80 people taken to area hospitals. it was a triage center at the location of the marathon site that was set up quickly, so they were able to tend to these victims. we saw people being wheeled out on wheel chairs and stretchers who had lost their limbs. from what we're hearing from doctors, the majority of injuries are to people's lower bodies. >> but there are burns as well. shrapnel, all kinds of wounds?
>> reporter: right. the injuries we were seeing was mostly to people's legs. i saw a woman who appeared to have lost a good portion of her jaw. lots of lacerations. the scene coming out of it was not hysterical. keep in mind, this was at the end of the marathon. so the runners that were injured were exhausted from the run and the spectators who were injured were simply in total shock. >> all right, thank you. we'll check in with you again throughout the evening and again our thanks to wcvb in boston. and as you probably know, the bomb went off, the first one, about 2:50 p.m. on boylston feet in boston, feet from the finish line. we'll take you to the streets of boston and show you the chaos and confusion. let you hear from people who were there. >> it sounded just like a bomb -- what i thought i bomb would sound like. absolutely horrified. >> it was very loud. the ground shook, you could just
feel it going down through you. >> the explosion went off right by the finish line. boom, you felt it, it hurt your ears. >> something just blew up. >> run! >> i saw a trash can explode and people started throwing down the barricade and running over each other. i ran in the other direction fast as i could. >> i was in the city. this is like the scariest thing i've ever experienced. people work in the restaurants telling us to get away from the scene, get far away. people were walking out like it was an exodus at cambridge. >> i saw runners in front of me fall, some with injuries, and then i looked over and saw just a pile of bodies, the worst thing i think i've ever seen in my life. mangled limbs, people not breathing. i just interviewed a nurse here on the scene who said she treated dozens of people, including children, many people with severe trauma, pulmonary
distress, you name it. >> they responded within 15 seconds. you saw everybody coming down here. the medical team here responded instantly. >> i'm a college student in boston. you think patriots' day marathon monday and you don't think anything like this is ever going to happen on a day like this in boston. >> and when those bombs went off, there was one person standing there, an emergency room doctor, who was just 20 feet away from one of the explosions. this doctor sprang into action to help the victims. dr. alan painter joins us right now on the phone from boston. dr. painter, tell us about the scene and as a medical professional, what did you see? what did you do? >> basically the explosion occurred to my left. i realized it was an explosion, turned to my right to leave the area. another explosion went off
apparently down the block. turned me back around facing the buildings. then i realized there were people bleeding behind me. then i looked to my left where i had been and there were at least six bodies down there. apparently they had taken all the blast and i was unscathed. >> and were you able to help people? did you gather people in your arms? >> well, what happened was, we put turn kets on people quick as we can. because most of the injuries were to the lower extremities. we attempted resuscitation of a young lady, got her back to the medical tent, but she did not make it. i want to commend boston police and the medics there, they were frantically getting things that everybody needed to the area. and the boston athletic association had so many people there to help, it was fantastic. >> well, again, dr. painter, a harrowing, harrowing day.
and we thank you for checking in with us as well. >> and of course around this country and the world, major cities are ramping up security in response to the bombing at the boston marathon. here in new york, critical response teams were deployed around the city, at hotels and landmarks. in l.a., they're dispatching bomb squads and bomb sniffing dogs. and tonight's dodgers game. and also in london, british police are reviewing security plans for the london marathon on sunday. so what have we learned about the investigation? the latest on who is behind this, and the nature of these bombs, let's go to abc's senior justice correspondent who has been working this story all day, pierre thomas. >> what we're being told by sources is, they believe that two portable devices were left and placed at the scene and then detonated. law enforcement officials right now are at the scene, they're looking for pieces of the device
in order to begin to put them back together to get a sense of who might be involved. they're also looking for surveillance tape. any surveillance tape that would give them an idea who might have done this. also we're told in addition to looking at potential domestic suspects, they're looking at people trying to leave the boston area airport. everything is being looked at. this is the highest priority of the federal government right now. >> pierre, i want to go to the video of the explosion. we're going to slow it down. look again at this video. tell me, forensically, what investigators think they can determine from what we're seeing. >> i spoke with sources who were watching and witnesses that particular videotape. they say it confirms what they think. if you look closely, it seems to come from a fairly confined small area. again, that was one of the reasons why they thought this was some sort of package left behind in the midst of that
crowd to harm everyone in the immediate proximity. >> and again, persons of interest tonight, any leads at all? >> again, all of the above, as one source told me, they will look at sdrik groups, international groups until they get a shred of evidence that points them in one direction, everything is on the table. >> so they're asking that anyone with any video at all, send it to them. pierre thomas will keep working throughout the night, i know. and right after the explosion, pennsylvania avenue in front of the white house was shut down. shortly before we came on the air, the president addressed the nation. here's abc's chief white house correspondent jonathan karl. >> the president referred to the bombing as the event in boston, but make no mistake, the white house is treating this as a terrorist attack. when the president came into the briefing room a short while ago, he vowed to find out who was responsible and hold them
responsible. we still do not know who did this or why. and people shouldn't jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. but make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this, and we will find out who did this, we'll find out why they did this. any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice. >> the president said he's directed the full resources of the federal government to help not only with the investigation in boston and the recovery in boston, but also to secure other parts of the united states as necessary. the president was informed of this just minutes after it happened and immediately began to receive briefings from his national security team. we have a photo of the call he had with fbi director muller in the oval office. he was briefed by also his homeland security secretary janet napolitano. here at the white house the security perimeter was pushed out. the public moved across the
street to pennsylvania avenue. police tape put on the scene as a precaution. but this obviously being treated as a terrorist attack, although the president did not use that word. when i asked about that, a senior official told me, any event with multiple explosive devices, as this appears to be, is clearly an act of terror and will be approached as an act of terror, but went on to say, we don't know who was responsible, if it was domestic or foreign. >> thanks so much, jon karl, and we'll have much more on the special edition of "world news" coming up. terror at the boston marathon. when we come back, a runner who was crossing the finish line when those bombs went off. what she saw, what she heard. see life in the best light. outdoors, or in. automatically filter amount of light. the way it's meant to be seen. maybe even a little better. experience life well lit, adaptive lenses. optical today transitions xtractive lenses enhance your vision. sam's club. savings made simple
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and now we want to bring you more on that moment when those bombs went off at the boston marathon, as runners were crossing the finish line. and one of them, one of those runners was a woman named alison who joins us on the telephone. tell me exactly where you were, what you saw, what you heard. >> hi, diane. i had just crossed over the finish line and was getting my
water and my medal and all of that. and i heard this big explosion. and we all kind of paused and the earth shook. i'm from los angeles, so it felt like of like an earthquake. then i smelled a lot of smoke. people started to say, maybe a transformer blew. but then immediately we heard another one. i turned around and saw all the smoke. it was lots of that dark smoke that goes along with a fire. it smelled like fire. so we all started shuffling the best we could after running to get out of the way. >> so you could actually feel the ground shaking? >> yes, definitely felt everything around me shake and move. >> what do you know about your fellow runners? do you know any of them who were injured? >> i do not have any friends who were injured, thankfully. my friends finished after me, so the explosion happened right
before they finished. so i finished first. they're all safe, i learned from facebook. the power of social media. >> that is wonderful news for you, and i'm so glad to hear it. how hard was it to make your way out of the scene? and was there chaos, was there panic? >> you know, there was not a lot of chaos. i have to commend really the aa for doing an amazing job getting everybody out of the way and orderly. immediately ambulances started piling through. we all just moved out of the way for them. we didn't know what was going on, didn't know how many people were injured. i have since heard the reports, so i know how devastating this was. but at that point we didn't know anything. but people just were very calm. i have to say that, everyone was very calm and we just moved out of the way and let the professionals work. >> how quickly did you grasp what had happened, that it was a bomb? >> pretty quickly. rumors started -- we started hearing people talk that there
was a bomb and another bomb. the amount of fatalities was exaggerated. i had heard 26. i have since learned that's not the case right now. >> i know it was your first marathon running in boston and i just want to say again, that it was a harrowing day for you and so many more people. we thank you for phoning in to us tonight, thank you. coming up next here on "world news," we'll have more on the terror at the boston marathons and some of the other headlines from this day. clusters of pustules, pimples. i had this shingle rash right next to my spine. the soreness was excruciating. it was impossible to even think about dancing. when you're dancing, your partner is holding you. so, his hand would have been right in the spot that i had the shingles. no tango. no rhumba. you can't be touched.
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you'll forget you had heartburn. ♪ tum tum tum tum tums and you know it is so difficult for law enforcement to protect against these events, what are called soft targets and abc's david kerley tells us more. >> reporter: the bloody boston explosion shattered the marathon and reopened wounds in this country. this attack, far from the first, targeting innocent civilians. international terrorists tried to break down the world trade center in '93. the building withstood the blooft. six were killed. and domestic frustrates proved deadly as well. the oklahoma city bombing killing 168. similar to today's boston blast, the atlanta olympics blast in 1996. it's the soft target terrorists are looking for. >> unfortunately these kinds of
settings, marathon, football, baseball, social event, concert. >> tom ridge was our country's first secretary of homeland security. >> you have to manage the risks unless you have specific information about a particular actor, you can't guarantee safety anywhere. >> reporter: so even though police were on duty with plenty of national guard soldiers, someone was able to place two bombs, giving so many second thoughts about being around large crowds. >> what can we do at a large crowd event? what can i do to keep myself safe? >> if you see something, say something. be aware of your environment. >> sounds like the best advice is don't let them affect your life, live your life? >> live your life. when you compromise how you live, that gives them a victory. as painful as it is today, you can't let them succeed, but us changing the norm, changing how
we live. >> david kerley, abc news, washington. >> and a riveting picture from this day when we come back. i'm on expert on softball. and tea parties. i'll have more awkward conversations than i'm equipped for, because i'm raising two girls on my own. i'll worry about the economy more than a few times before they're grown. but it's for them, so i've found a way. who matters most to you says the most about you. at massmutual we're owned by our policyowners, and they matter most to us. ready to plan for your future? we'll help you get there. of mild to moderate alzheimer's disease is exelon patch. now with more treatment options, exelon patch may improve overall function and cognition. your loved one can get a free 30-day trial. and you can have access to nurses. it does not change how the disease progresses. hospitalization, and rarely death, have been reported from wearing more than one patch at a time.
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and metamucil that can take up to 3 days. for predictable relief try dulcolax. >> two explosions at the boston marathon, shock, confusion and chaos in the crowd. turn to abc news and abcnews.com 24/7. and a special "good morning america" tomorrow on abc. police in action, standing over a fallen marathon runner. and we thank you for watching. some of you will be leaving us, but we hope the others will stay with us for the second half hour of the special edition of "world news." we'll take a short break and see you in just a few minutes.
>> from abc news, this is is a special edition of "world news" with diane sawyer. terror at the boston marathon. >> good evening, the details out of boston are still pouring in at this house. proud day for this city shattered by violence. first one bomb and then another. let's just watch and listen.