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Obama Heads to Boston as City Copes with Bombing

  • VOA News

Mourners pray during a candlelight vigil in the aftermath of Monday's Boston Marathon explosions, April 17, 2013, at City Hall in Cambridge, Mass.

Mourners pray during a candlelight vigil in the aftermath of Monday's Boston Marathon explosions, April 17, 2013, at City Hall in Cambridge, Mass.

U.S. President Barack Obama goes to Boston on Thursday, where he will attend an interfaith memorial service as the city copes with Monday's deadly bombing at the Boston Marathon.

VOA correspondent Carolyn Presutti, who is in Boston, says the president will be bringing a message of resolve and commonality.

"I'm sure he will give that message of just how Americans mold together, how Americans come together in patriotism and in support of those who are hurting," she said. "And I'm sure it will be an encouraging type of speech, and again, just how faith always plays a role when we have these devastating events in the United States."


On Wednesday, the FBI, federal prosecutors and Boston police all denied widespread media reports that a suspect in the case had been arrested.

Officials take crime scene photos a day after two explosions hit the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, April 16, 2013.

Officials take crime scene photos a day after two explosions hit the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, April 16, 2013.

​Those investigators told news agencies that footage from a security camera showed a man carrying, and then dropping, a black bag near where one of the twin explosions killed three people and wounded 176 others at the finish line of the annual race.

VOA's Presutti said Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick offered some hope by saying the investigation was progressing, but that the false reports about an arrest weighed on citizens.

"It was very confusing, and especially for the people of Boston. They want something to hold onto, they want some closure to this. So for them to hear that someone was finally going to be arrested and maybe they would get some answers to their questioning, and then to have it pulled right from under them, they were left very confused," she said.

The investigators have collected a variety of fragments they say were part of the bombs, including pieces of pressure cookers that contained the explosives. The lid of one of the pressure cookers was found on the roof of a nearby building.

Investigators released photos of mangled pressure cooker pieces, a few inches of a charred wire attached to a small box, a battery attached to red and black wires, a small nail and the head of a blood-stained zipper. Authorities also found a circuit board believed to be part of one of the bombs.


A doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital said Tuesday survivors listed as critical are improving. He called the wounded "amazing people" and said he was touched to hear victims who lost a leg say how glad they are just to be alive. Numerous other victims have been released from hospitals after getting treatment for their injuries.

Two blasts seconds apart near the finish line of the marathon killed an 8-year-old boy, a restaurant catering manager and a graduate student at Boston University.

Watch video report by VOA's Carolyn Presutti

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