On April 15, 2013 at 2.49 PM local time (EDT) two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. At 3.19 PM the first mention of the tragedy was made on the English Wikipedia in article Boston Marathon. At 3.27 PM a separate article about the attack was started, which received over 4000 updates in the next 4 days.
This chart shows how many hourly page views were registered in the next 4 days for related pages on the English Wikipedia: 2.5 million, including 287 thousand image views (not counting pictures embedded in an article), and 96 thousand image views on Commons.
Although impressive and testimony of Wikipedia’s relevance as news aggregator duringmajor events earlier major news event draw even more readers. After Michael Jackson’s death Wikipedia servers received over 1.2 million requests for the English article about him in the first hour only, 8.7 million in the first 24 hours. John McCain’s announcement of Sarah Palin as running mate drew over 500 thousand page views in the first hour.
See also most viewed articles about terrorist incidents in the US by year and most viewed articles on terrorism, both on English Wikipedia, in March 2013.