Nearly 250 apply for Boston bomb charity money

BOSTON (REUTERS) - Nearly 250 people have applied to receive money from a US$51 million (S$64 million) charity fund set up for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, the fund's deputy administrator said on Monday.

Twin explosions at the finish line of the world-renowned race on April 15 killed three people and injured 264 others, many of whom lost legs in the blasts.

"We now have 247 applications, and I expect a few more to come in over the next couple of days," said Ms Camille Biros.

Applications had to be post-marked June 15 or earlier to be considered.

The One Fund was established by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick shortly after the bombings, and it has so far brought in more than US$51 million in donations, according to its website.

The fund is being managed by Mr Kenneth Feinberg, an arbitration attorney who also oversaw compensation for victims of the Sept 11, 2001, attacks and the theater shootings in Aurora, Colorado.

Ms Biros said The One Fund had yet to sort through the applications to determine which would be accepted. She said payments will be made from July 1.

The fund will pay victims according to their injuries, with claims for death, multiple amputations and permanent brain damage to receive the biggest checks.

Two ethnic Chechen brothers who lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston, were identified by the FBI as suspects in the bombing.

The younger of the two, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is being held at a prison hospital west of Boston. His older brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died in a shootout with police days after the bombing.

Tamerlan had been on a United States (US) government database of potential terrorism suspects.