Packages close Md. buildings
Two packages containing incendiary devices created a flash and caused smoke and an odor when they were opened Thursday in separate Maryland government buildings in Annapolis and Hanover, causing evacuations and minor injuries, Maryland authorities said.
The first package, about the size of a book, was opened around 12:30 p.m. in the Jeffrey Building on Francis Street in downtown Annapolis, Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley said. The package was addressed to Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), officials said.
A short time later, a similar incident occurred at the Maryland Department of Transportation's Headquarters in Hanover.
View Explosion closes Md. buildings in a larger map
Shipley said two workers had their fingers singed, and that one person who had been in the DOT building was taken to the hospital as a precaution. Both buildings were evacuated as state and local authorities responded.
"We're grateful that we've had no serious injuries at this time," Shipley said. He said Maryland officials immediately put a hold on all state mail to determine whether there were any additional packages.
There was no damage to either building and investigators have found no explosive material, Shipley said.
Shipley said Maryland State Police are investigating, as well as the FBI.
Maryland Department of Transportation headquarters. (Ovetta Wiggins/The Post)
William E. Barnard, the Maryland fire marshal, said his office received a call about 12:45 p.m. that a person at the Maryland Department of Transportation "opened a package that produced a puff of smoke."
Barnard said bomb technicians determined that the package, which was the size of a book, contained an incendiary-type device that produced a sulfur smell.
"It would be wrong to characterize it as a bomb," he said. "There was no explosion."
Barnard said the device was similar in nature to the package sent to Annapolis.
"At this point there are only two packages," he said. But he added that Baltimore City has received a package that is being looked at.
"We have collected a significant amount of physical evidence, and believe me, we are going to get to the bottom of this," Barnard said.
The person that opened the package went to the hospital for a checkup. There were seven others evaluated at the scene by emergency personnel. Three were transported to Baltimore Washington Medical Center.
"There are no physical injuries," he said.
Barnard said the package was delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.
About a dozen emergency vehicles, including ambulances and firetrucks, were parked outside the four-story Department of Transportation Headquarters in Hanover.
All 250 employees who work in the building were immediately evacuated after the incident, according to a spokesman. The incident, which occurred on the fourth floor, did not happen in the mailroom.
Construction cones were used to block off one roadway leading to the headquarters, which is near the BWI rental car facility and attached to the BWI/MARC station.
The incidents had ripple effects in the area. In the District, Doxie McCoy, a spokeswoman, said all mail in government buildings had been halted as a precaution.
Workers were allowed back into the Jeffery building by about 3 p.m.
[This post has been updated.]
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