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2013-04-17

Boston Turns to Recovery as Victims Identified, Bombing Details Emerge

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Authorities are hunting for clues behind Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured 176. According to The Boston Globe, 70 victims remained in Boston hospitals Tuesday night, including 24 in critical condition. FBI officials say the two bombs were probably built in six-liter pressure cookers filled with nails and small ball bearings. The bombs were then hidden in bags left on the ground. Meanwhile, more information is coming out about the victims: eight-year-old Martin Richard, who was seen in a photo holding a sign that read, "No more hurting people. Peace."; 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, a restaurant worker; and Lu Lingzi, a Chinese national attending graduate school at Boston University. We go to Boston to speak with Steve Brown, an anchor at the public radio station WBUR. [includes rush transcript]

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: We end today’s show in Boston, where authorities are hunting for clues behind Monday’s bombings at the marathon that killed three people and injured 176. According to The Boston Globe, 70 victims remained in Boston hospitals Tuesday night, including 24 in critical condition. FBI officials say the two bombs were probably built from six-liter pressure cookers filled with nails and small ball bearings. The bombs were then hidden in bags left on the ground. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

On Tuesday, President Obama described the bombing as, quote, "an act of terror."

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This was a heinous and cowardly act. And given what we now know about what took place, the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism. Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror.

AMY GOODMAN: Meanwhile, more information is coming out about the victims in Monday’s bombing. The first was—to be identified was eight-year-old Martin Richard. He died in the blast. His sister lost her leg. Their mother suffered a brain injury. On Tuesday, a photo was published online showing Martin Richard holding a sign that read: "No more hurting people. Peace." And outside his house, there is a chalked word, "Peace," that he drew this weekend. The second fatality was identified on Tuesday as 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, a restaurant worker. The third casualty was identified as Lu Lingzi, a Chinese national attending graduate school at Boston University.

We’re going now to Boston, where we’re joined by Steve Brown. He’s anchor and reporter at WBUR in Boston, where he’s joining us from. He’s been covering the Boston Marathon bombings.

Can you tell us the latest, Steve, what you think is most significant right now in your city of Boston?

STEVE BROWN: Well, we’re in the transition stage right now between the initial shock and the horror of what happened on Monday, trying to get back to some semblance of normalcy here in Boston. I was walking around town yesterday, and you could sense that change going on. So, we’re in the process of healing right now, and that will be going on and will probably come to a peak tomorrow when the president comes to town for an interfaith service that’s going to be held at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross here in Boston.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Can you explain, Steve Brown, what the situation is on the ground in Boston? And have you been speaking to survivors of the attack, as well?

STEVE BROWN: Well, I’ve heard from some folks. I haven’t spoken to any victims, per se. But on the ground, the area of the finish line remains sealed off. That’s on a main street, Boylston Street in Boston, right in the heart of the Back Bay, right in the heart of the city of Boston. So that area remains an active crime scene. Police commissioner said it’s the largest crime scene in the history of the Boston Police Department. So they’re still working that. They’re still looking for every clue. And so, that’s going to be sealed off for a few days, at least. So, that’s going on right now at the crime scene.

AMY GOODMAN: Steve, you were there when the runners were picking up their medals?

STEVE BROWN: I was. I went down to the area yesterday, and there were still some folks who—because there was such chaos at the end of the race—there were still thousands of runners that were still coming into Kenmore Square and into the—towards the finish line, when this happened. And they were held up for a while, a lot of confusion as to where to go. Some people just went home. And they had to collect their belongings, and so they went to an area in the Back Bay, where they got their belongings, and they were presented a medal for completing the marathon, something that they would have got on Monday at the finish line. But instead—it was a bittersweet experience. I was watching folks going, getting their stuff, getting their medal. And it—they worked hard at running the race and everything, but it just—it just didn’t have that value, having that medal. It just was not the same feeling.

AMY GOODMAN: And the significance of who died? I mean, you have Martin Richard, eight years old, his family so hard hit, his mother with brain injuries, his sister lost her leg. Can you talk about also what is known about the bomb at this point?

STEVE BROWN: Well, as far as the bomb is concerned, we were told yesterday that it—as you just reported, made out of a—the container was a pressure cooker. I’ve been seeing reports today that they’ve—I haven’t been able to confirm this, but that a lid was found on a roof of the building, of one of these devices. So, the FBI is collecting all those pieces and fragments and shards, and trying to—going to be shipping them to the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia. And they’ll try to piece it back together, hopefully finding a clue.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: During Tuesday’s press conference, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick cautioned against making any assumptions about who may have carried out the attack.

GOV. DEVAL PATRICK: These are times when all kinds of forces sometimes conspire to make people start to think of categories of people in sometimes uncharitable ways. This community will recover and will heal if we turn to each other rather than on each other. And one of the things that we’ll emphasize at the interfaith service, and that we want to emphasize by our example every day, is that we are one community, as the mayor said. We are all in this together. And the sensitivity we show to each other as we heal will be an important part of how we heal.

AMY GOODMAN: Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Steve Brown, can you comment on what he said and whether there has been much speculation in Boston about the perpetrators?

STEVE BROWN: There’s always a buzz, you know, unofficial stuff on Twitter and everything. But the investigators are keeping this very, very close to the vest, not indicating any particular one group. They want to get the facts and the evidence first before jumping to any conclusions.

AMY GOODMAN: Steve Brown, I want to thank you for being with us, anchor and reporter at WBUR in Boston, where he is reporting to us from now. He’s been covering the Boston Marathon bombings. And that does it for the show. And, of course, we will continue to do the same.

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