A package delivered to a Northeastern University campus building exploded Tuesday night, injuring one and causing the evacuation of the building.
The package was delivered around 7pm Tuesday night to Holmes Hall on Leon Street and exploded shortly after, according to NBC Boston. A 45-year-old staffer who handled the package was taken to the hospital with injuries to his hand.
According to the Daily Mail, the exploding package was contained inside a Pelican brand case with a manifesto railing against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his Metaverse. The original story from NBC Boston makes no mention of the Pelican case nor the manifesto.
The Boston Bomb Squad, Boston police, Boston fire and Boston EMS all responded to the incident and the building was evacuated. The trusty and reliable FBI is assisting with the case.
(Video: 10 Boston)
A 7News reporter said authorities had not yet ruled out terrorism.
Breaking: FBI Boston tells me they’re aware of 2 packages that exploded at Holmes Hall at Northeastern University tonight resulting in one injury…FBI currently coordinating with Boston Police..Sources say too early to say whether this is related to terrorism or not #7News pic.twitter.com/bHTCSmjIjS
— Steve Cooper (@scooperon7) September 14, 2022
“It’s very important to note that our campus is secure and we will maintain a secure campus in perpetuity,” Northeastern University Police Chief Michael Davis said.
Former Massachusetts State Police trooper and security expert Todd McGhee said there should be plenty of evidence left for authorities to examine.
“Even in an explosion, the components of the device do not necessarily disintegrate,” McGhee told NBC10 Boston. “So there will be tangible evidence that will be collected and then, in a sense, reassembled to a point to be able to understand all of the components that were utilized.”
For those asking…. a “Pelican”-style case would look something like this. pic.twitter.com/6qrfvgsBQp
— David Wade (@davidwade) September 14, 2022
“I take very seriously that this city is home to everyone’s young people…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,” Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said.
“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,” Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden said in a statement. “The quick and thorough response by Boston Police and other agencies is the start of a comprehensive investigation to determine exactly what occurred here.”
The Boston area contains a number of high-profile universities which have since placed their students and staff on alert.
Please be advised that there was a package explosion at Northeastern University at approximately 7:15PM. We are urging all members of the community to be cautious. Please report any suspicious packages by calling 617-353-2121. pic.twitter.com/2l4U0fJ5pm
— BU Police Department (@BUPolice) September 14, 2022
Holmes Hall houses the Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies program, the journalism department, and the campus Virtual Reality club and immersive media (VR) labs.
An anonymous student told the Mail, “I think it’s possible that, given the loss of in-person communication during quarantine, some people (in the general public, not Northeastern students in particular) may have begun relying on virtual reality for social interaction.”
“We don’t know what psychological effects this has yet, it’s a very new space.”
“It’s possible that someone was hurt by an interaction they had in VR and wanted to lash out. But that’s just a guess – it seems odd to target Northeastern in particular,” the student said.
#BREAKING: Firefighters and bomb squad investigating additional suspicious item on Northeastern University campus in Boston following explosion that left one hurt; nearby buildings evacuated pic.twitter.com/KGWg0IqyBO
— I.E.N. (@BreakingIEN) September 14, 2022
Jacob Isaacs told NBC Boston he was in class in Holmes Hall when they were evacuated, but he didn’t recall hearing an explosion.
“We were in class and then we saw two policemen walk through the building and then as soon as we look out the window, we see a fire truck with the lights on blazing, and then our teacher is like ‘I gotta see what’s going on,’ and he sees that the fire truck is going and there’s a police car outside and as that happened, instantly the fire alarm starts going off,” he said.
Another student, Eliane Mejía, was at the site when the detonation occurred.
“There was a bomb that had just exploded and we stayed here to check what else was happening and then they began to evacuate that building. It’s obviously scary but I also want to know what’s going on that’s why I’m staying,” she said in Spanish.
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