NPR logo Incendiary Devices Shutdown Two Maryland Government Buildings


Incendiary Devices Shutdown Two Maryland Government Buildings

"Two packages sent to state government buildings 20 miles apart released smoke and odors when they were opened Thursday," the AP reports.

Radio station WTOP reports the packages were sent to the Maryland Department of General Services' Jeffrey Building in Annapolis and the Maryland Department of Transportation headquarters in Hanover.

WTOP says that Maryland State Police reported no serious injuries. The packages were reportedly sent through the mail. CBS News adds that at least one mailroom employee was injured at they Jeffrey Building when they opened the package.

According to the Baltimore Sun, the packages contained explosive devices, the mailrooms are on lockdown and the bomb squad was on the scene:

The Annapolis Fire Department's bomb squad was investigating the State House incident and the state's bomb squad and FBI officials were on their way to the Jeffrey Building on Francis Street, where the incident took place, as of 12:51 p.m., according to Phillip McGowan, a spokesman for Annapolis Mayor Joshua J. Cohen.

Quoting Maryland state police spokesman Greg Shipley, the AP reports both of the devices were about the size of a book.

"In both instances when the small packages were opened, there was a dissemination of smoke and a smell; that's the best description we have right now," Shipley said.

Update at 3:21 p.m.: The Department of Homeland Security tells NPR there was no explosion.

Update at 3:31 p.m.: CNN adds more to the description of what happened when the package was opened:

A government source who spoke on background said the device in the Jeffrey Building on Francis Street in Annapolis "flashed" with a little bit of fire. The package emitted a sulfur smell. The employee was "slightly injured," the source said.

Update at 3:43 p.m.: The AP reports that the package sent to the state office building was addressed to the governor.

Update at 4:04 p.m.: The AP quotes Shipley — the Maryland state police spokesman — as saying the packages emitted enough of a flash of fire that the two employees who opened the packages had their fingers burned.

We will continue to update this story as we get more information.