BOSTON — Law enforcement officials are investigating after a pressurized case with a rambling note directed at Facebook detonated at Northeastern University, leaving one person hospitalized on Tuesday night.
The package-like device was delivered to Holmes Hall and detonated once a staff member opened it, according to Northeastern University. The 45-year-old male staffer was treated for burns on his hand at a local hospital. The building was evacuated and a notification alerting students to avoid the scene was sent out shortly before 8 p.m.
A Boston 25 source described the device in question as “pressurized” and “possibly a Pelican case of some sort.” The source added that the case contained a note that criticized Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the relationship between academic institutions and the developers of virtual reality.
Governor Charlie Baker spoke on the “pretty aggressive investigation” that law enforcement agencies have been working on since the incident.
“There don’t appear to be any other devices around at this point in time and I would expect that at some point in the next couple of days there will probably be more to say about it, but this is obviously a collaborative effort between the school, the city, the feds, and our folks and I’m glad nobody was seriously hurt,” Baker said in a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
Officials from BPD’s bomb squad and Boston Emergency Services were called to the scene. First responders later found a second package that was not deemed to be a threat. The campus was ultimately declared safe.
During an late evening news conference, investigators noted that they could not definitively state how the package made its way onto the campus.
“I take very seriously that this city is home to everyone’s young people,” said Boston Mayor Michelle Wu at the press conference. “We want to make sure to emphasize that this is of the utmost priority, the safety and wellbeing of all of our young people here.”
“We’re monitoring the situation at Northeastern and we’re ready to work with the university and our law enforcement partners on any prosecutions that may develop,” said Suffolk County DA Kevin Hayden in a statement.
Tuesday was the first day of classes on campus and students shared their anxiety about the incident with Boston 25.
“All of a sudden, the fire alarms went off. We didn’t think much of it. We thought it could be a routine fire alarm,” said Susanna Maize. “All of a sudden the police started pushing us back setting up tape.”
“When we came out we saw multiple fire trucks. At least four or five,” said Ryan Dicorpo. “One of the ladders was raised to the roof... one the firefighters went up with what I believe was an ax and went onto the roof.”
Other local universities like Tufts, BU and Harvard alerted their student bodies to the incident and advised them to be on alert for suspicious packages.
Boston Police were also called to investigate reports of a suspicious package at the Museum of Fine Arts. The MFA was deemed safe soon after.
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