Who Broke the News of the Boston Marathon Bombing?

News travels at the speed of light in social media, both figuratively and literally. Two bombs exploded at approximately 2:50 p.m. EDT on April 15th, 2013 in Boston. On Twitter, reports of the bombing materialized in real time. Below is a chronology of tweets that "broke the news."

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  1. It was an uneventful Spring day in Boston.  An Ethopian runner had just won the Boston Marathon at around noon.
  2. At 2:50, an eyewitness takes a photo of fire and smoke down the street.  Dan Lampariello (@Boston_to_a_T) uploads this photo to his twitter account, a minute after the bomb exploded.
  3. Reuters' social media editor for Anthony De Roas (@AntDeRosa) retweets the photo 8 minutes later.
  4. 1 minute: Another eyewitness George Scoville @stackiii tweets about an explosion.  It gets only 83 retweets, and a few replies from incredulous and concerned friends of his.
  5. I think a bomb just went off in Boston. Can't tell. Can smell smoke. Emergency vehicles everywhere.
  6. 2 minutes: a sports radio station in Everett, WA (@KRKO1380) tweeted a message from one of their reporters, Randy (@tooblackdogs) that there was an explosion.  It gets over 100 retweets.
  7. 4 minutes: another eyewitness Tyler Wakstein @theoriginalwak tweets this photo.
  8. 6 minutes: Reuters was the first major news agency to tweet the breaking story.  It got over 1,000 retweets.
  9. 6 minutes: A TV news producer in London tweeted reports of the explosion.