x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

FBI denies Boston Marathon bombings arrest as probe continues

News agencies and other media reported the arrest of a man identified on video footage carrying a black bag at the second bomb site, however US federal investigators deny this.

BOSTON // US federal investigators last night denied that anyone was in custody for Monday's Boston Marathon bombings.

News agencies and other media reported the arrest of a man identified on video footage carrying a black bag at the second bomb site.

Investigators combing the scene yesterday recovered a piece of a circuit board they believe was part of one explosive device, and the lid of a pressure cooker blown on to a rooftop.

They believe the bomb parts are vital new clues that might lead them to the bomber.

Authorities believe the bombs were made from ordinary kitchen pressure cookers packed with nails, ball bearings and other shrapnel. The new discoveries may ease the task of tracing the manufacturer and possibly the place where the components were purchased.

The first days of the FBI-led probe are providing a clearer picture of the devices that killed three people and injured more than 170 others. Investigators also found scraps of black nylon at the blast site that suggest the bombs were hidden in a black duffel bag or backpack.

With the investigation "in its infancy", Richard DesLauriers, the special agent in charge of the Boston FBI office, asked members of the public yesterday to search their memories for any recollection of someone who may have talked about the marathon as a target or who showed an interest in explosives. The unexplained sound of a blast in a remote area might have signalled a test run,

Law enforcement agencies had earlier pleaded for the public to come forward with photos, videos or any information that might help them solve the bombings. Police also gathered surveillance video from businesses around the finish line.

The FBI said nobody had claimed responsibility.

Investigators in white jumpsuits fanned out yesterday across the streets, rooftops and awnings around the blast site in search of clues. They combed through debris amid the toppled orange sports drink dispensers, rubbish bins and sleeves of plastic cups strewn across the street at the marathon's finish line.

Barack Obama branded the attack an act of terrorism. The president will attend an interfaith service in Boston today in the victims' honour.

Scores of victims of the bombing remained in hospitals, many with grievous injuries. Doctors who treated the wounded said the bombs were packed with shrapnel intended to cause mayhem. A five-year-old child, a nine-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy were among 17 victims listed in critical condition.

The trauma surgery chief at Boston Medical Centre said most of the injuries his hospital treated were to the legs.

"We have a lot of lower extremity injuries, so I think the damage was low to the ground and wasn't up," Dr Peter Burke said. "The patients who do have head injuries were blown into things or were hit by fragments that went up."

Dozens of patients have been released from hospitals around the Boston area.

At Massachusetts General Hospital, all four amputations performed were above the knee, with no hope of saving more of the legs, said Dr George Velmahos, chief of trauma surgery.

"It wasn't a hard decision to make," he said. "We just completed the ugly job that the bomb did."

The bombs exploded 10 or more seconds apart, tearing off victims' limbs and spattering streets with blood. The blasts near the finish line instantly turned the festive race into a hellish scene of confusion, horror and heroics.

The blasts killed Martin Richard, 8, from Boston; and Krystle Campbell, 29, from Medford; and Lu Lingzi, a Chinese graduate student at Boston University.

Authorities believe the bombs were made from kitchen pressure cookers packed with nails, ball bearings and other shrapnel. The new discoveries may ease the task of tracing the manufacturer and possibly the place where the components were purchased.

The first days of the FBI-led inquiry are providing a clearer picture of the devices that killed three people and injured more than 170 others. Investigators also found scraps of black nylon at a blast site that suggest the bombs were hidden in a black duffel bag or backpack.

With the investigation "in its infancy", Richard DesLauriers, the special agent in charge of the Boston FBI office, asked members of the public yesterday to search their memories for any recollection of someone who may have talked about the marathon as a target or who showed an interest in explosives. The unexplained sound of a blast in a remote area might have signalled a test run.

Law enforcement agencies earlier pleaded for the public to come forward with photos, videos or information that might help them solve the bombings. Police also collected surveillance video from businesses around the finish line.

The FBI said no one had claimed responsibility.

Investigators in white jumpsuits fanned out yesterday across the streets, rooftops and awnings around the blast site in search of clues. They combed through debris amid the toppled orange sports drink dispensers, rubbish bins and sleeves of plastic cups strewn across the street at the race's finish line.

Barack Obama called the attack an act of terrorism. The president will attend an interfaith service in Boston today in the victims' honour.

Scores of victims of the bombing remained in hospitals, many with grievous injuries. Doctors who treated the wounded said the bombs were packed with shrapnel intended to cause mayhem.

A five-year-old child, a nine-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy were among 17 victims listed in critical condition.

The trauma surgery chief at Boston Medical Centre said most of the injuries his hospital treated were to the legs.

"We have a lot of lower-extremity injuries, so I think the damage was low to the ground and wasn't up," Dr Peter Burke said.

"The patients who do have head injuries were blown into things or were hit by fragments that went up."

Dozens of patients have been released from hospitals around the Boston area.