Secret Service Shuts Down Pennsylvania Avenue After Boston Marathon Explosions

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Outside the White House, April 15, 2013. (Photo credit: George Mesthos/All-News 99.1 WNEW)

Outside the White House, April 15, 2013. (Photo credit: George Mesthos/All-News 99.1 WNEW)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Shortly after several explosions occurred at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, Secret Service shut down Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House, cordoning off the area with yellow police tape.

Several Secret Service patrol cars also blocked off the entry points to the road, and the security perimeter at the White House has been expanded.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan says the measure was taken “out of an abundance of caution.” He says it is not unusual to expand or contract the security perimeters.

The White House says President Barack Obama has been notified about the explosions, and that he has called Boston’s mayor and the Massachusetts governor to express his concern for those injured in the explosions.

Photos: Tragedy at Boston Marathon

The White House says the administration is in contact with state and local authorities and directed his administration to provide whatever assistance is necessary in the investigation and response.

Obama told Mayor Tom Menino and Gov. Deval Patrick that his administration would provide whatever support was needed in responding to the incident, the White House said.

The president was briefed on the explosions by Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco shortly after 3 p.m. EDT.

Vice President Joe Biden was on a conference call with gun control activists when staffers turned on televisions in his office Monday to view coverage of the explosions.

RELATED: Hundreds of Boston Marathon Runners From D.C. Area

“Apparently there has been a bombing,” Biden said. “I don’t know any of the details of what caused it, who did it. I don’t think it exists yet. But our prayers are with those people in Boston who suffered injury.”

The White House was not on lockdown and tourists and other onlookers were still able to be in the park across the street from the executive mansion.

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(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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