PHOTOS: When Terrorism Targets Sports
Grisly accounts abounded. "We saw people with their legs blown off," Mark Hagopian, owner of the Charlesmark Hotel, told AFP from the basement of a restaurant where he had sought shelter.
"A person next to me had his legs blown off at the knee -- he was still alive."
"It was bad, it was fast," he said. "There was a gigantic explosion... we felt wind on our faces... Police were saying: 'Get out, get out, leave, leave there may be more bombs.'"
Boston police chief Ed Davis raised the death toll from two to three at a late evening news conference at which other officials fended off a barrage of questions about the investigation into the explosions.
FBI special agent Rick DesLauriers did say: "It is a criminal investigation that is a potential terrorist investigation."
More than 100 were injured, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick said, without giving an exact figure. The Boston Globe said it was at least 125.
NBC News, citing officials, reported that police had found "multiple explosive devices" in Boston, raising the possibility of a coordinated attack.