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NYPD Steps Up Security In Wake Of Boston Marathon Explosion

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The New York City Police Department has stepped up security at hotels and other prominent locations across the city as the FBI leads the investigation into two explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday that killed at least three people and injured more than 100 others.

NYPD officials say the added precautions are being taken until more information about the explosion is learned.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is also stepping up its police presence along its bridges, tunnels and train stations. As a result, commuters should expect increased bag and vehicle checks.

According to Boston police, there were two explosions that went off near the marathon's finish line around 3 p.m. Monday. The blasts occurred on Boylston Street near Copley Square in Boston, roughly three hours after the marathon winners crossed the finish line.

An Associated Press source says an 8-year-old son of a marathon runner was one of the three fatalities, and his mother and sister were among the injured. The AP also says at least 144 people were injured by the explosion, including 17 in critical condition.

Officials at Brigham and Women's Hospital said they treated 28 patients, ranging from ages 3 to mid-60s. Between eight to 10 of those people were in serious condition and another two were in critical condition, and hospital officials said the most common injuries were bone and tissue damage.

Boston Children's Hospital officials said they treated 10 patients, including six children between the ages of 2 to 15.

Officials at Boston Medical Center said they treated another 23 patients, including 16 in serious condition, and most of them received lower leg injuries.

Athletes taking part in the 26.2-mile race were re-routed away from the explosion site before race officials canceled the remainder of the event.

Jean Barone, a runner in the marathon, told NY1 that runners were stopped by a police blockade about a quarter-mile away from the explosion site. She also said there were major disruptions in cellphone service.

According to reports, a third device was discovered unexploded at a hotel near the bomb site, and a fourth unexploded device was found in an undisclosed location. Both were being dismantled by authorities with the hope they they would yield clues as to who perpetrated the bombings.

Boston police say while a fire at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Dorchester was initially reported as a third explosion, the incident is under investigation and is probably unrelated to the two bombings.

By Monday night, Boston police said they were questioning people of interest but no suspects had yet been charged.

In their final Monday press conference, Boston authorities said they were not certain that all explosive devices had been located, and urged Bostonians to not congregate in large numbers as the investigation continued in a substantial portion of the downtown area.

"The city of Boston is open and will be open tomorrow, but it will not be business as usual," said Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. "There will be a heightened law enforcement presence consistent with the severity and seriousness of the ongoing investigation. People should expect, those who are riding the T [subway system], that there will be random checks of backpacks and other parcels and we just ask everyone to be patient with that inconvenience for the time being. It is for the public's safety."

Speaking in the White House on Monday evening, President Barack Obama said he had directed the full resources of the federal government to help state and local authorities with security, relief and the ongoing investigation.

"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," Obama said. "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."

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324).

The NYPD increased security throughout Manhattan on Monday. Penn Station in Midtown was filled with security officials, including NYPD officers, transit police officers and bomb-sniffing dogs.

In Times Square, police presence included hundreds of officers on patrol and a row of parked patrol cars.

Speaking at a Chelsea event honoring the 65th year of Israeli independence, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday night that both the city and Israel were familiar with concerns of safety and terrorism.

"We are asking all New Yorkers to remain vigilant in the days ahead. If you see something that looks strange, just pick up the phone and say something. But at the same time, we refuse to let cowardly acts of violence stop us from living in our city, the city that we love," Bloomberg said.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said in part in a statement, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Boston and Massachusetts as reports come in on the horrific tragedy at the Boston Marathon."

Cuomo said the New York National Guard sent three vehicles and six soldiers to help support the marathon on Sunday. They will remain on hand to assist local authorities.

In Washington, D.C., the House of Representatives held a moment of silence for the bombing victims on Monday.

Rep. Michael Thomas McCaul of Texas, the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, told NY1 on Monday that he was briefed by the White House and he thought the bombing had "all the hallmarks of terrorism."

A pedestrian plaza near the White House was cleared following the Boston bombings, as flags at the U.S. Capitol were lowered to half-staff.

Meanwhile, London police said organizers for the London Marathon, the next upcoming major international race, are working with officials to review security procedures before the Sunday event.

Locating People In Boston

The following websites are offering public information on people's whereabouts in Boston:

google.org/personfinder/2013-boston-explosions

redcross.org/safeandwell


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