President Obama has been made aware of the explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon and has directed administration officials to provide any necessary assistance to first responders on the ground, according to a White House official.
“The president has been notified of the incident in Boston,” a White House official said. ”His administration is in contact with state and local authorities. He directed his administration to provide whatever assistance is necessary in the investigation and response.”
The official added: “Shortly after being notified of the incident around 3 p.m., the president received a briefing from Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco and other members of his senior White House staff in the Oval Office. The president called Boston Mayor Tom Menino and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to express his concern for those who were injured and to make clear that his administration is ready to provide needed support as they respond to the incident.”
Crowds in front of the White House were also cleared from Pennsylvania Avenue. They are now gathered in Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House.
And Vice President Biden, speaking on a conference call with gun control advocates when the news broke, said the victims were in his prayers.
“I don’t know any of the details, what caused it, who did it,” Biden said. “Our prayers are with those people in Boston who have suffered injuries. I don’t know how many there are.”