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Special Coverage of the Boston Marathon Bombings

Aired April 16, 2013 - 01:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're welcome.

MORGAN: And that's all for this tonight. We will have a much stronger story, of course, tomorrow. Right now, stay with CNN for team coverage of the Boston marathon bombing.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. IM Don Lemon.


This is breaking news coverage of the deadly terror attack during the Boston marathon. We welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world.

LEMON: Absolutely, John. And you know, the city of Boston is reeling after a stunning attack that has left three people dead. More than 140 wounded and everyone wondering why.


LEMON: The carnage came with two blasts barely 100 yards and just seconds apart. That was the first. Here is the second.


LEMON: All of this happened right at the finish line at the internationally know Boston marathon. It turned the city's annual Patriot's day celebration into a nightmare of chaos, confusion and sadly, bloodshed. Who is behind it is unknown. The FBI has taken the lead in this investigation and police say they have no suspects right now but they are on the lookout for a man who tried to enter a restricted area just minutes before the blast -- John.

VAUSE: And Don, a "Boston Globe" journalist was at the finish line of the marathon and he caught the blasts and the aftermath (INAUDIBLE). Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have had an attack.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh, my God.


VAUSE: President Barack Obama says he has ordered the full resources of the federal government to respond to the Boston attacks. In his statement at the White House, he stopped short of calling it terrorism, saying authorities don't yet have all the answers.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We still do not know who did this or why. And people shouldn't jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. But make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this and we will find out who did this and we'll find out why they did this. Any response -- any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice.


LEMON: President of the United States earlier today.

And you know, John, we are learning of some interesting police activity that took place at a high rise apartment building in Revere, Massachusetts and that's just five miles from downtown Boston.

VAUSE: Yes. CNN's Brian Todd is there. He joins us now on the line.

Brian, can you tell us, are police still there on the scene?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via phone): Yes, John, they are still on the scene. State police are here, possibly other local police and possibly federal officials on the scene. They have been here for several hours investigating. We were told one apartment here on Ocean Avenue in the town of Revere, Massachusetts, all withhold by the state police earlier was that they were looking -- they were looking at one apartment here. They did not say what they were looking at or who they were talking to. We asked a short time ago if anyone had been arrested and they would not answer that question.

What we were told is, by neighbors that the police and other officials have been here since about 5:30 this afternoon. But when we got into the lobby and started to ask state police questions, one of the state police top officials, one of their superior officers came down and said basically that all the questions had to be referred to the FBI and they pretty much shooed us out of the lobby. So, we are waiting for some more answer and watching police officials go in and out of this apartment building. But, they have been here for several hours.

LEMON: Hey, Brian. Take us into the apartment complex where you are because even on social media, they have got people saying that they have been -- the police have been there since about 5:00 which you say about 5:30, about 20 cops. The FBI bomb squad, cars with dogs, all over. Have you been able to see any of that?

TODD: We saw a little bit of it, Don, when we got here this evening. Then, we spoke to a young lady who is a neighbor and she said that they had a pretty heavy police presence here. That she and her family were scared because of all the activity here. There are two apartment buildings that are connected to one other. They live in the next one over and she was just saying that she was very concerned about whatever activity is going on in here.

And again, we are not really sure whether this is any kind of a solid connection to the case or not. We do know that it's got to be related, too, and because again, state other local police are here, possibly some federal officials on the scene as well. And they have been here for several hours.

But, as far as who are they talking through it in this one apartment that they are checking out, we are not sure.

VAUSE: And Brian, it's John here. We have to be careful about all of the reporting that we're doing and obviously, there is a lot of activity there, but how do we know this is a solid lead?

TODD: You know, we really don't, John. You know, they have only told us that they're checking out one apartment. We are not sure what led them to this apartment. You know, I did talk to the police commissioner, Ed Davis, earlier this evening. And he said that there -- you know, one thing that they are doing is compiling all the surveillance video from the scene and trying to work with the FBI as well in getting other video, meaning, possibly from some media outlet's who were at the finish line. You know, obviously, this is the big race to a lot of media outlets here, local and maybe some national sports media outlets here filming the race. So, they are working to, you know, to the media outlets who were here on the scene to get some of that video plus the surveillance video. What the police commissioner told me was that there were two devices, possibly a third, and again, he spoke to me about three and a half hours ago, so, that was the information that I got at that time. He did confirm as you all have been talking about that there were three fatalities and more than 100 injured for far.

VAUSE: OK, Brian. Thank you. Brian Todd on the scene of that surge in apartment building in Revere, Massachusetts, about five miles near of downtown.

LEMON: And I have been hearing on social media and you have been reading this as well, that the police have been at this apartment complex all day and some of the residents there have been tweeting and sending out messages on social media. And also saying that they are looking for a man or men in a Sheridan, there, we don't know if that's true. But a lot the things are coming on in social media that need to be checked out.

We want to check in now with a couple our correspondents in Boston.

Peter Hamby, not far from where the bomb exploded and Jason Carroll as well is at the Brigham and Women's hospital, one of the medical centers where victims were taken.

We are going to you, Peter. I will start with you.

Peter, I don't know, you have been able -- have you been able to listen to any of the scanner traffic about certain individuals that they are looking for or what the investigators are looking for at this point?

PETER HAMBY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, Don, there is really still so much that we don't know. We're standing here at the corner of Exeter and Commonwealth. The first blast took place -- there is two block this way behind me in Exeter in Boylston. But right here, we have been seeing official vehicles come in still up at this late hour, Boston police, unmarked cars going in the perimeter behind me.

The FBI has taken over this investigation. And they have set up a crime scene perimeter around the site of the blast for about a six- block radius. The mayor's office, just a few blocks down street has setup a resource center for victims and their families for counseling.

But again, we don't know. There is a whole lot we don't know still about these explosions. We don't know if this was a foreign or domestic attack. There were no early warnings before this attack. No credible threats, is the word that authorities were using. But, they are pursuing many leads. Brian Todd just talked about one of them in Revere.

There were so many cameras at the site of the explosions that authorities are looking into, Don. And there are also searching cell phone towers. They can get that information and tried to track who may have been involved around the scene of this crime earlier, Don. But again, we are still waiting to learn a lot tonight.

LEMON: And also, Peter, what about they are saying that there were more than two devices? That there are only two explosions but there were some who may have been another device or two devices that did not go off and that will help investigators in this particular case?

HAMBY: Yes. Earlier today, we heard many different reports about a number of different explosive devices around Boston, even as far out as JFK library and North Chester that turned out to be a fire incident unrelated to what happened here.

Our chief national correspondent John King talked the one law enforcement official that said yes there were, you know, other devices that were being looked into but they were cautious about saying there were explosive devices.

Congressman Bill Keating of Massachusetts, a man from the house said that there were two other explosive devices, the Boston police chief said there was one, you know, just as one more thing that we are going to have to flush out.

Authorities have scheduled a 9:30 a.m. press conference at the Westin Hotel here which is the gathering place for media right now, tomorrow morning. So, we will be sure to learn more, I'm sure, then too, Don.

LEMON: All right, Peter Hamby, thank you very much.

And we want to remind our viewers Jason Carroll is also standing by at the hospital. We are going to get to Jason on the other side of the break. VAUSE: We will also be talking to Bob Baer. He is the former CIA operative. He is also a CNN contributor. He has a lot of good information for us. He has an insight into a lot of these terrorist attacks that few people have. We will talk to him when we come back after a very short break.


VAUSE: And welcome back to CNN's continuing coverage of the terror attack in Boston. I'm John Vause.

LEMON: And I'm Don Lemon. Thank you so much for joining us.

It was just before 3:00 eastern time when that blast went off and then a second one right after that. And boy, oh boy, I mean, it has been chaos ever since. Details have been coming in, trickling in but not as quickly as one might think in this particular situation.

VAUSE: There were 500,000 people who lined the roof, who have taken part in this terror attack in some way. Investigators are slowly piecing together exactly what happened. There is a suspect who is wanted but so far they have no suspect in custody. But, even before the dust and smoke settled, the frantic rush to help the wounded began. Strangers were helping strangers.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that blood on the sleeve?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Show me that flag.

ARREDONDO: That was a flag I was holding the whole time. This is how the flag ended up carrying the blood of all of these victims.


LEMON: My goodness.


Let's go live now to CNN's Jason Carroll. Let's bring him at Women's hospital where some of the victims were taken.

LEMON: Yes, Jason, we have been hearing so much about the victims. We have heard that some -- there were some amputees, some people had to be amputated, their limbs and shrapnel in their bodies. What's the very latest on the victims of the bombing now?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And Don, you are absolutely right. They are dealing with all of that here, you know. At one point one of the nurses came out of the hospital and she said it just has been an emotionally trying day. And Don, you can really see that on her face. Another attendant who was just standing off and here to my right, he basically said when the ambulances started coming in, they were coming in in droves. It seems like they were coming six at a time. And then, they started seeing the injuries just as you described. Injuries to bone tissue, mostly to the lower extremities. Some of the injuries, so severe, they had to deal with amputees.

They also talked about the shrapnel. One of the trauma doctors here, Doctor Ron Walls told me about that. He said yes, they are in the process. When they are going to the surgery of removing shrapnel, but he wasn't sure if the shrapnel came from in an explosive device or if it came from materials in the area. That will be part of the investigation. Of course, doctors will be helping out when they describe the injuries.

Thirty-one patients brought here to the hospital. That was at last count from the doctor. At one point, nine of those patients were in surgery. And he said, two of those patients were in danger of losing their limbs. Doctors obviously, working very hard even now to try to save the lives of the two most critically injured patients.

Also, Don and John, at one point, there was a young patient here, the youngest, a 3-year-old. That young child was taken to children's hospital.

So at this point, what you have is maybe as one the doctors described here. And he said we have been trained in drills for something like this happening but he said nothing in terms of what they have seen could have prepared them for this.

VAUSE: Jason, this must have stretched resources of the health system there, the hospitals. We know that nine hospitals were involved in treating the wounded. Let's just look at exactly where they were taken. The numbers that were take on these individual medical facilities.

What have doctors been saying to you about the chaos and confusion that they went through in the hours after the blast?

CARROLL: Well, I'm going to tell you and maybe it's because of the training that they have had, but this trauma doctor told me, John, that even though they were seeing the very violent types of injuries that they were seeing, he did not use the word chaos at all. It was probably from their point of view it was time just to get to work. It is the training to sort of clicks in and that is what they were dealing here in at least with the 31 patients that they had in trying to treat them and trying to save lives.

VAUSE: OK. Jason, thank you.

Jason Carroll live for us with the very latest on people who have been injured by these bomb blasts. Some of those injuries were absolutely horrific.

LEMON: Yes. We know now that the FBI is taking over -- a federal agency has taken over the lead on this particular investigation. We want to get insight on that. We are going to speak with Bob Baer. He is a CNN contributor and a former CIA operative who is going to give us some insight on exactly what investigators may be doing right now and also who might be behind this, right after the break.



MARILYN MILLER, WITNESS: We heard the first bomb, OK. And you look and say what? What? And you smell and think oh my God it's a bomb. And then, all of the sudden, the next one is going off and we're in between the two. And the men that were with us, they were like just three women -- men, they were just went girls, under us. Get down. And they're like go, go. You know? I'm walking and they are hovering over us. And it started like you just thinking where is the next one going off, you know what I mean? It was quite scary. I just went numb kind of and you just do what you're told. I mean, everybody was screaming around you. And it just hits you now. We're out of the city. We are in Beverly (INAUDIBLE). And if this kind of hits you like oh my, what did I just live through? You know? It's crazy.


VAUSE: It is one of the many accounts there from witnesses who saw this today.

Now, President Barack Obama says whoever is responsible for Monday's deadly terror attack at the Boston marathon will be brought to justice.

Three people are dead, more than 140 wounded, many of them critically. No one has claimed responsibility. But officials say it is clearly a terrorists attack. Police say they have no suspects. But several people are being questions and authorities are scouring surveillance video for any clues. So, for now, there are a lot of questions but there are just not too many answers.

LEMON: So, let's try to get some answers now from Robert Baer. He is a CNN contributor and a former CIA operative. He joins us now via Skype from Newport Beach, California for the look at how law enforcement will investigate Monday's attack.

Where do they start, Bob?

ROBERT BAER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR, FORMER CIA OPERATIVE (via Skype): Well, first, I would look at the wiring. How sophisticated was this? I mean, the fact that two bombs were used? There is a certain level of sophistication. What was the detonator? What was the explosives? They can tell from the wiring once they recovered it, potentially orange and whether its person's hand experienced having made these bombs before, it is not easy. You just can't get it on the Internet, make two of these bombs go off, fairly closely together. So, somebody had some experience. Somebody practiced. They're going to want to know if this came out of the Middle East or rather with domestic group. LEMON: Bob, I want to ask you this and I'm reading -- I'm quoting from the wire here, from CNN wire. One unexploded device was found in a hotel in Boylston near the bomb sight. Another unexploded device was found at an undisclosed location. That was according to a representative Bill Keating from Massachusetts. So, what does that do for investigators that there are possibly two devices that did not go off?

BAER: Well, first of all, it tells me we are dealing with a group and not an individual. This is not like the bombing at the Olympics, one guy tied bomb, you know, psychotic. We are dealing with an organized group. They are going to want to know why the other bombs didn't go off. And frankly, it's going to be a treasure throw. You know, you could find fingerprints on these things.

And the other thing is you don't want to look if they were detonated by cell phones. That would be a give-away where it came from. There are just a lot of pieces of evidence that will take weeks to put together before we have any idea, unless we get very lucky, who did this.

VAUSE: Bob, are you willing to make a call yet whether this was, in fact, a domestic terror group responsible for this or maybe it was some kind of foreign terror group which carried out the attack?

BAER: Well, you know, let's put it this way. It is entirely speculation. But the fact that there were aftermath casualties, suggest an al-Qaeda like group. If it were domestic, they probably would come after the federal government, a courthouse like in Oklahoma City or even Washington D.C.

So, you know, it the first takes on these are always wrong but, you know, the mass casualties suggest a Middle Eastern group or somebody who is really, really psychotic and crazy.

LEMON: Why hasn't anyone claimed responsibility? Usually pretty quickly after something like this, especially if its (INAUDIBLE), yes, they would claim responsibility.

BAER: That's exactly it. These things are inevitably somebody is on the phone or throwing a tape over (INAUDIBLE) off the wall or something like that. So, that's another mystery in the hull and why hasn't somebody claimed. But even in domestic group, they normally claimed responsibility.

VAUSE: Bob, this was an international event. We had 500,000 people lying the streets of Boston. We have runners from all over the world. There were spectators from all over the world. How does that complicate the investigation?

BAER: Look, on a 27-mile run, you cannot protect these, you know, and ways next to tough. You know, it's just, you know, I don't think we should look at the vulnerabilities of (INAUDIBLE). Did they make a mistake? It's just these, you know, crowds are very difficult if not impossible to protect. VAUSE: But, what about in the investigation? What if, you know, you have all these people from all over the world, some waiting to go home now, people wanted to leave the scene, how does that make things so much more difficult?

BAER: You can't keep them there. People can be, you know, to get out after one of these things. If it was foreign, I wouldn't be surprised if they're on a plane right now leaving the United States. If they are all sophisticated, people are gone.

LEMON: All right, Bob Baer. Thank you very much. Great insight. We really appreciate it.

VAUSE: And of course, you know, the twin explosion, it reminded me in my time in Jerusalem. There would be initial blast, second blast when the responders arrived to cause maximum amount of injury. It is a hallmark of al-Qaeda. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, (INAUDIBLE) brigade, always --

LEMON: I don't think we should underplay, underestimate that everyone had been saying that this is really crude. And usually, usually, and you know, I'm just speculating here, someone who as organized as al- Qaeda or some foreign entity is a bit more sophisticated than this. Usually home grown terrorists are crude in this manner. It is not to say that it is home-grown, but still we shouldn't underestimate them.

VAUSE: As we said, lots of questions, not too many answers.

When we come back we will go to the scene of the hospital for the latest news on the bombing and its victims.


LEMON: This is CNN's continuing coverage of the deadly Boston Marathon terror attack. I'm Don Lemon.

VAUSE: And I'm John Vause. We have a lot to get through over the next couple of hours. We find piece together on exactly what happened to this terrible day in Boston.

LEMON: Why don't we tell everyone what we know right now, John?

This is what we know so far.

We are now just hours into what promises to be a massive terror investigation. The FBI is waiting the proven if Monday's double bombing at the Boston marathon. There is no official suspect in custody at this time. The attack near the finish line of the race killed at least three people including an 8-year-old boy. More than 140 people have been injured. Doctors had to amputate the limbs of at least ten victims. A federal authorities are indeed classifying this as a terrorist attack and it is not yet clear whether this was domestic or foreign terrorists.

VAUSE: I want to take you through the marathon route to show where exactly where the attack happened. The race made its way into the more populated areas of Boston. It ended in Copley square. The heart of the city, the first bomb exploded right next to the finish line. And just 12 seconds later, the second bomb went off just down the street.

Officials say the explosions were about 50 to 100 yards apart. The blast shattered windows and sent flying in to the air. Authorities are scouring surveillance cameras, video footage and cell phone videos looking for any possible clues. A former FBI agent tells CNN, it will be a long difficult job.


THOMAS FUENTES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: They will be trying to obtain copies of all of the media, videotapes, iPhone, cameras, personal cameras that were being used at the time to see if they could get a view of what individual may have actually placed the device. That's going to be extremely difficult. You have thousands of people near that finish line, probably more than half carrying backpacks so they have dry clothing for the runners when they cross the finish line, or water or food or other materials.

So, you're going have people from all over the world that come to attend this or family members or a friend. There is going to be, as I said, carrying packages and backpacks and setting them down on the sidewalk because they're out there a long time. It is going to be very difficult to find some individual that stands out as suspicious in a crowd after burst.


VAUSE: And let's go back now to the scene of Monday's Boston marathon bombings.

CNN's Peter Hamby, once again, live.

You know, let's just be clear on this. Authorities say they have no suspects right now, but they are looking for someone, whatever these have.

HAMBY: Yes. That's right, John. Earlier today, officials put out a law enforcement advisory, and again they are not saying this is a person of interest or a suspect. But, they are looking for a darker skinned or black male who was wearing a black hoodie and had a backpack and apparently tried to access a restricted area in the marathon site just a few minutes before the bombing. That's according to a bulletin.

So, that's somebody that officials are telling, other officials to look out for him according to a bulletin obtained by CNN, John.

VAUSE: That's a very vague description to say the least.

Can you just tell me, what about the security procedures which have been put in place when people wake up in Boston later this morning? They will be dramatically increased security. What can they expect? HAMBY: Yes, exactly. There will be tons of street closings in town. But it might be actually a little bit easier in parts to get around than it was earlier today. I arrived right here at this scene around 3:00 p.m. this afternoon and streets were shut off. But there was some sort of hazard-fashion. Nobody knew where to go. Cars were being turned around.

Right now, just behind me, two blocks behind me is where the first explosion happened. They set off a crime scene perimeter. It's about a six block radius and nobody will be allowed in there. The only people that have been going in tonight, John, are law enforcement officials.

VAUSE: OK, Peter. Thank you for that. Peter Hamby who was on the scene.

Very quickly after this blast, it's been a long day for Peter. Peter, we appreciate you sticking with us, thank you -- Don.

LEMON: We want to go now to someone who is actually. CNN producer, Matt Frucco. He was watching from the sidelines when the blasts went off. Here is how he described the scene.


MATT FRUCCO, CNN EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: And then I heard a big explosion about 100 yards down. Further from me towards the finish line. And I looked over there and I thought giant fume of smoke rising up. It wasn't on the street buffer. It was like it was sidewalk or perhaps the parking lot and I would say the smoke went up as high as a three or four story building. About 10 seconds later, after from me another big explosion. I'm not entirely sure. Then people started scrambling. People were terrified. This one was awfully close. Then I looked to see about six or seven people strewn about that area down on the ground. Everyone was scrambling to get out of the way, scrambling into building, scrambling off the Boylston, on the side streets. You know, they will be able to get a vantage point. I saw what looked like separate six or seven people being concern about on oil phenomenon itself being treated by EMTs or police officers.


LEMON: All right, we want to go live down to CNN's Jason Carroll. He is one of the hospitals where the wounded had been treated.

Jason, I can only imagine the stories that you're hearing from the victims and also from their loved ones at the hospital.

CARROLL: It has been an incredibly emotional day for everyone coming here to the hospital whether it be to check on a loved one or whether it be the first responders, you know, some of those surgeons who are here, some of the nurses where here treating the injuries. You have seen the pictures by now.

You and Don, have been looking at the pictures all day long. The extents of injuries, so traumatic, so violent, even one of the trauma surgeons here told me with all of the training they have dealt with and that they dealt with it in the past, nothing really could emotionally prepare them for what their experienced here today.

And just a little earlier, we explained Doctor Ron Walls, trauma surgeon here, He explained the extent of the injuries, what types of injuries they were seeing here with the patients that were brought in. Take a listen.


DOCTOR RON WALLS, BRIGHAM AND WOMEN'S HOSPITAL: The worse of these injuries have the injuries to the legs. There is a lot of damage. There was a lot of blast effect blast defect from these types of explosion. So, a lot of injury to the muscle, the skin, the bones are broken, those sorts of injuries. The shrapnel is really been a relatively minor issue. There are little bits of shrapnel in some of the patients. No suggestion that the shrapnel was part of the device, really, just an ambient thing that were throwing around in the blast.


CARROLL: Thirty-one patients were brought here and that the 31 patients who were brought here and the doctor also explained a little bit more about the lower extremities. And I thought that was interesting because it gives you a sense of the direction of the blast. At least one lot of the explosions, it seems to be very low. A lot of the amputees that they are saying, those who are in danger of losing a limb, they are their legs. And so that gives you an idea of what type of blast happened out there at the scene.

Also, just a little bit more too are in critical condition. Those two that are being operates are done. One again, in danger of losing limbs, the youngest patient that was brought here at one point, 3- year-old boy, what we believe to be 3-year-old boy taken to children's hospital. And that happened a little earlier today.

But once again, it was just, what I really came away with is the look on the faces of the nurses and some of the doctors as they were leaving the hospital here. They look a bit shell shock, but it is business as usual inside, doctors telling me, getting to work trying to save these patients.

LEMON: All right, Jason Carroll. Thank you very much.

And John, you know, it is interesting, when you look at the video of the actual blast you can see the people running there, you can see just how targeted some of it was. Some of the people around this gentleman who fell down barely got a scratch. Didn't really know this much. And so, you can see just how the force of that blast went out just in certain directions and it didn't go.

VAUSE: It was a concentrated blast is what they are saying. And what is interesting is that the vast majority of those injured were spectators.

LEMON: You see that? You see back -- if we could back that up. I just think it's interesting where the one gentleman falls down and the other people around him, there it was. They're not really moved that much. But some people, you see them rubbing a shoulder and their faces.

Gentleman in a green trying to figure out exactly what happened, but, you can see it was very targeted as you said.

VAUSE: It was a compact blast. And again, it mostly affected this. Spectators and the crowd, that's where the vast majorities injuries where and lower limbs have been the ones that have sustained the most amount of injuries, another indication what sort of explosive device.

LEMON: What's coming up?

VAUSE: We have some more news to get to on the other side of the break. We will have the least from North Korea. And we also check in on the Asian markets after a big sell-off in the United States.

Stay with us.


LEMON: Welcome back, everyone. We want to recap our top story right now.

The deadly terror attack at the Boston marathon.


LEMON: Two bombs exploding seconds apart near the finish line creating a chaotic scene as runners and spectators scramble to escape with their lives. Medical personnel ready to help dehydrated runners prone into action to help the injured. Three people were killed including an 8-year-old boy. At least 141 people were injured and take on the local hospitals. Seventeen are in critical condition.

A doctor in Massachusetts general hospital says most of the injuries were caused by small metal debris in the lower extremities. Doctor Peter Holmes (ph) says some of his patients will have to return to the operating room tomorrow. President Barack Obama addressed the nation soon after the attack and said those responsible will feel the full weight of justice.

VAUSE: North Korea continues its threats of war now with an ultimatum to South Korea.

Pyongyang says its retaliatory action will start without a notice. That's in response to what it calls insults from public authorities in the south.


VAUSE: Those insults apparently include this in a North Korean valley in Seoul on Monday, a monstrous event according to the north that included burning effigies of leader, Kim Jong-un along with his father and grandfather. Monday was the 101st anniversary of the founder, Kim Il-sung's birthday. It's the most important holiday on the North Korean calendar. Festivities are still underway today.

Meanwhile the U.S. sends its Asian allies remain all alert for missile launch. Let's get to Kyung Lah who is standing by live at CNN in Seoul.

Kyung, how is South Korea reacting to this latest threat from North Korea?

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we did speak with the defense ministry and the defense ministry here in South Korea is saying that they find this latest threat to be quite regrettable because the hope from the South Korean government is that tensions are beginning to de- escalate. We are seeing that trend. But, as with all things of North Korea, it's a bit of a step forward and a couple steps back. But the timing of this protest is really what set off this latest tirade from North Korea. It is quite sensitive, a day where we are seeing Kim Jong-un stop by, the tombs of his father and grandfather paying respects. And so, you see a very different image coming from South Korea. And these South Koreans certainly know why they are doing this. They know it's a particularly strong insult so that's why we're also seeing a strong response from the north. But, one thing we would like to point out, John, is that when you compare this statement, if you read through the entire statement, you compare all the other insults and threats that have come from North Korea, it is a bit dialed down.

So, things are trending to more of a just simmer here on the peninsula -- John.

VAUSE: And I guess, part of that simmer mouth, Kyung, is that there has been no missile launch, we are just hearing more threat. Yet the South Koreans are still saying that a test launch could still be imminent? And where this all go from here?

LAH: Where is goes from here is the South Koreans have to assume that there may be a missile test launch. And they are emphasizing the word test. But, if you look at all of the tea leaves here, one of the things that we look at is whether or not North Korea has actually informed the maritime agencies that they will be conducting a missile test. And at this point, we just checked with them. They say that they have not been informed.

So, the government right now is moving forward to believing that there may not be a missile test launch. But John, as you know, with all things with North Korea, you just have to assume the worst.

VAUSE: It seems after of all of the (INAUDIBLE) or threat, maybe they have backed themselves into a corner. It will be an interesting few days to come.

Thank you, Kyung Lah, live for us in Seoul.

And from Seoul, we go to Hong Kong. We want to check on the markets across Asia because there was a big sell off on Wall Street on Monday.

Pauline Chiou is standing by with the latest on that. And while they are in the red it's not as bad as some had thought it could have been.

PAULINE CHIOU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In fact, John, the Shanghai composite is gaining some ground but the sell off does continue here in the Asia-Pacific region. The composite was down by four tenths of a percent. And the Hang Sang, as well as well as it may not bench mark are also down.

Take a look at the board here. We are seeing investors react for a second day in a row to that disappointing growth data out of China. That came out on Monday. And also for a second day, we are seeing pressure on commodities and raw material producers. Now, this from worries that China's slowing growth means less demand for commodities like iron or oil and wheat and corn as well. And in fact, the price of gold has been sliding down even more right now in Asia trade. It is a trading at $1359 an ounce.

And we are also seeing knock on effect on the share market in Australia which is down by more than four-tenths of one percent. We are seeing it tick back down even lower a little bit. The Shanghai composite within the past 10 minutes of so had gained back from ground. It is basically flat at the moment. The Nikkei is flat as well. It lost ground earlier this morning in trade as the yen strengthen a little bit. But it has weakened and right now the yen is trading at about 97 yen which is helping Japanese exporters and calling back some ground here.

Now, John, the bombings in Boston are not having a direct effect on the markets here. But the general uncertainty about the security also this issue of national security is going to be an underlying concern -- John.

VAUSE: OK. Pauline, thank you for that reporting to you live for us with some very latest on the market in Hong Kong.

We will take a short break. We have a lot more to get through. We have a great story about the man we were talking about, about the trauma who was knocked down? He got up and finished the race and still wants to keep going.

LEMON: We are going to hear from him.


VAUSE: And welcome back to our continuing coverage of the Boston bombings.

LEMON: He is John Vause and I'm Don Lemon.

The terrorist attack that ended the 117th Boston marathon with three people dead and more than 140 wounded.

VAUSE: Runner and spectators were knocked off their feet as the first of two blasts went off right in the finish line.

LEMON: And tell you that the FBI is now heading up this investigation. So far there are no other suspects but police have been questioning several people. And among the marathon runners was a 78-year-old man was blown off of his feet by the blast as he near the finish line. You have been watching him all day. A "Boston Globe' photographer was there when it happened and our Piers Morgan spoke with him.


JOHN TLUMACKI, PHOTOGRAPHER, BOSTON GLOBE: I saw so many injuries that I have never seen before. I saw people with their legs flown off. I just couldn't believe the carnage. When I got to the other side of the fence, there was a barricade sense that keeps spectators off the course. There were just people on top of people on top of people. And it was just an incredible sad sight to see that and I just fear that the death toll will be greater than the three it is there now.

MORGAN: John, this could be -- I will leave in that for a moment. We have now got on the line Bill Iffrig, who is that man, gentleman, that we saw being blown off his feet there, the man in the orange. And that image right now and the camera say with the police.

Bill Iffrig, thank you for joining me tonight.

The whole world has seen the images of you being blown off of your feet. Tell me exactly what you experienced as you run towards the finishing line.

BILL IFFRIG, 78-YEAR-OLD RUNNER: Well, I was just approaching the last straight away of the finish line. And I had a good day and I was feeling really good. I got down within about 15 feet of the finishing apron and there was a tremendous explosion. It's like a bomb went off right next to me and shockingly, it just hit m whole body and my legs just start getting round. I knew I was going down. And so I ended up down there in the black top. I didn't feel any severe pain. But as I rolled over I seen a little scratch in my leg, but, nothing too bad. So, I laid there just momentarily and one of the finisher, assistance come over and talked to me and asked me if I was anything they could do and offered to give me a hand and helped me get up and help me get over the finish line so I can complete my race.

So we did that and I felt OK so I told them I was probably all right. He insisted on getting a wheelchair. So we started to do that. But then, before that one rounded up by day I said hey, I'm only -- my hotel is about six blocks away. I think I can make it OK. So they let me get out of there and I went on home to my wife.


LEMON: Goodness. 78-years-old and he went on home to his wife.

VAUSE: And he's going to continue running marathons. The best photo of the day, I thought, was with police standing over Mr. Iffrig, protecting him bring himself between public and the blast. It was a memorable moment.

LEMON: By the way, John, Boston marathon established 1897, one of the premier marathons of the world. Of course, we know that here in the U.S.

VAUSE: And we will have a lot more coverage here on CNN here in just a moment.