Boston, MA, United States (4E) – Some 3,500 policemen will be deployed, spectators will be checked and certain items will be banned in the Boston Marathon on April 21, according to Massachusetts security officials.
The tighter security measures aim to prevent a repeat of the bombings of the annual event last year that killed three people and injured more than 260 spectators.
An estimated one million people are expected to watch the marathon and some 36,000 runners are expected to participate in the 26-mile race. The number of runners is 9,000 more than last year’s.
Security checkpoints will be in the viewing areas for spectators to pass through and undergo inspection of their bags and items. Spectators will not be allowed to carry backpacks, suitcases and rolling bags, coolers, glass containers or cans, containers that can carry more than a liter of liquid, handbags, bulky items or packages, large blankets, sleeping bags, duvets, sporting equipment, costumes covering the face, bulky outfits, flammable liquids, fuels, fireworks, explosives and weapons. Personal items have to be placed in a transparent bag for ease of screening.
The grandstand seating at the finish line in Boston, the Athletes’ Village in Hopkinton, and the shuttle buses run by the organizer Boston Athletic Association for both runners and spectators will be restricted.
Unregistered runners and cyclists are also banned from entering the race routes and areas.
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Director Kurt N. Schwartz said in a news conference on Monday that runners and spectators will still have a fun, festive and family-oriented day despite the tighter security.