Emerson on lockdown after explosion during Boston Marathon

By Ryan Catalani

Two consecutive bombs were detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon today at 2:50 p.m., injuring several Emerson students, and, according to the Boston Globe, killing two and injuring at least 107.

While several Emerson students were running in the annual race, none of those participating are believed to be injured at this time. However, according to a statement from the college, several Emerson student spectators are being treated for minor injuries.

At 3:30 p.m., Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said he could not confirm or deny a terrorist attack. When Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis was asked if the incident was an attack at a 4:30 p.m. press conference, he told reporters they could make their own conclusions.

Emerson announced via email at approximately 4 p.m. that the campus is on lockdown, and President M. Lee Pelton told the Beacon it is too early to tell if the college will be open tomorrow. MBTA service on the B and C lines of the Green Line was temporarily suspended, but has since been reopened with service delays expected, according to its Twitter. The Copley Station stop will remained closed.

According to an email from Andrew Tiedemann, vice president of public affairs, only students with an Emerson ID are being let into campus buildings, and all bags and backpacks are being inspected upon entrance. The email said that counseling staff will be available this evening in the residence halls, and gatherings to talk about the incident will take place on Piano Row floors five and thirteen, Little Building floors five and 10, Colonial Building floor nine, and Paramount Building floor six.

The college will provide another update before 9 p.m., according to Tiedemann’s email.

Glass windows in buildings near the finish line at Copley Square were blown in during the incident as hundreds of spectators fled toward back alleys, escaping the smoke-filled Boylston Street.

In the moments after the explosions, confusion and tears were rampant. Groups huddled together, parents carried their crying children, and people quickly tapped at their phones.

The response from emergency officials was immediate, as officers forced lingering crowds farther and farther from the finish line, and swiftly fortified barriers for blocks.

Many runners who finished the race said they were looking for their friends and family members, picking up thermal blankets and bottles of water as marathon officials hustled them away from the street.

The next news briefing is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.

Brittany Gervais, Beacon Staff, contributed to this report.