At the start of reporting the Boston bombing, there was an estimate of 3 dead, and 170 wounded. The death toll hasn't changed, but it seems like the number of wounded has increased as time has gone on.

As of April 22nd, one week after the attack: Third major paragraph

"...killed three people and injured more than 170..."

As of April 30th, more than 2 weeks after the attack): About a quarter way through the article

"...killed three people and left more than 260 wounded..."

What is the actual number of wounded victims in the Boston bombings?

Even assuming they didn't count everyone the day of the attack, they couldn't have miscounted by 90 victims a two weeks after the attack.


As of April 23rd, 2013, the official number is 264.

Boston public health officials said Tuesday that they have revised downward their estimate of the number of people injured in the Marathon ­attacks, to 264.


Estimates last week placed the number of injured at about 170, but that figure rose because dozens of victims delayed seeking medical care for minor wounds or symptoms that they thought would go away on their own, including hearing ­problems and embedded shrapnel.

Source: Boston Globe

  • What count as "injured"? Is it as broad from like bruises/sprains from falling from a shockblast, to blown off legs? – Wertilq May 1 '13 at 7:07
  • @Wertliq: My understanding from context is that it is "treated at Greater Boston hospitals". I don't know what reporting systems they have - e.g. whether family doctors or homeopaths need to report, and what the criteria for treatability is, or evidence required to demonstrate the injury was achieved as a direct result of the blast. However, I don't see much value in chasing this down either. It is a broad metric of limited applicability. – Oddthinking May 1 '13 at 8:39
  • I've always thought that "No. taken directly to hospital" would be a much more informative, and reliable, statistic. – Ian May 1 '13 at 10:14
  • @Oddthinking It's something I have always wondered. When it says "3 dead and 280 injured" it's just statistics. It's about as involving as listening to a professors lecture, and a professor that rather would be doing research instead of holding a lecture. You get no feel what so ever what it REALLY means. – Wertilq May 1 '13 at 12:33
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    @Wertliq: I think I am agreeing you when I say: This figure is a convenient proxy number for reporters to use to try to give an indication of the severity of an event, but it isn't a very useful or accurate metric for conveying detail. Rather than spending effort to precisely define it (15 people triaged as code red, 18 people attended work the next day, etc.), there are likely more vivid and informative descriptions that could be given to give people a feel for the tragedy. – Oddthinking May 1 '13 at 13:32

Check out this article: http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-boston-marathon-bombings-inflated-injury-tallies/5334725 The original 170 was almost an instantaneous stat. Maybe it was based on how many people were wheeled off, but later found not to have sustained injuries. But the record seems to show only 55, and some of them either have no age or no injury recorded.

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    The premise of this article seems to be "The bombing were carried out by a giant, seamless conspiracy that managed to take care of every detail except they were thwarted because the masterminds were unable to make up some victim's ages." Perhaps a more prosaic reason is that accurately recording the age of the victim on forms wasn't the highest priority shortly after the attack? – Oddthinking May 14 '13 at 3:08

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