The most celebratory day on Boston’s calendar turned into an unexpected nightmare yesterday when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring more than 140 people.
An estimated 500,000 gathered around the capital of Massachusetts to cheer more than 25,000 runners in the annual 26.2-mile race. The blasts occurred at 2:50 PM EST, and on-site emergency officials rushed victims to hospitals throughout the surrounding area. Police quickly evacuated the area to prevent further damage. Everything within a 15-block radius of the bomb scene was closed, and hoteliers and race organizers worked closely with emergency officials to ensure all guests and staff members were safe.
“Boston is a city known for its resilient spirit,” Carolyn Clark, vice president, marketing and communications, PCMA, says. “As America watched the events unfold yesterday, that spirit shined. From the marathon volunteers who rushed to help victims to the police officers who kept guests in the area out of harm’s way to medical experts who worked around the clock, it’s clear that Bostonians won’t let a senseless act of violence stain their city.”
Further away from the scene, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority took a precautionary measure, evacuating the Hynes Convention Center where show organizers and staff were preparing for the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association’s Annual Meeting to begin on April 17.
“The safety of our facilities, and the well-being of our events and our clients are paramount and will remain so,” James Rooney, Executive Director, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, says. “Nothing, today or in the future, is more important to us.”
Read a full statement from Rooney on the MCCA’s emergency action plan and the steps it has taken to protect all attendees, customers and staff.
Here’s an update on what’s happening at three of the hotels closest to the scene:
Located at 776 Boylston Street, just half a block from the site of the second explosion, the Mandarin Oriental in Boston is closed today. The hotel’s website states that “all guests and employees who were located at the hotel are safe and accounted for.”
The Lenox, located at the corner of Exeter and Boylston Streets, half a block from the first explosion, is closed, too. However, the hotel will open at 9:00 AM for guests to return and pick up their belongings.
The Fairmont Copley, which is located two blocks from the finish line, was placed under lockdown. The hotel’s famed St. James Room transformed into an area where guests and runners could get in touch with friends and family.