One person was taken to the hospital Tuesday evening after a package delivered to a building at Northeastern University exploded when it was opened, school officials confirmed.
A second package was also found and rendered safe by the bomb squad, Boston police confirmed at a news conference Tuesday night.
Northeastern University said the package was delivered to Holmes Hall on Leon Street around 7 p.m. and detonated when a staff member opened it. That person, a 45-year-old man, suffered minor hand injuries and was taken to the hospital.
After a package exploded at a Northeastern University building Tuesday, Boston police, the FBI, Mayor Michelle Wu and others gave updates on the investigation.
The Boston Bomb Squad, Boston police, Boston fire and Boston EMS all responded and the building was evacuated. An FBI spokesperson said they were assisting the investigation.
When asked if there was a threat to the general public at Tuesday night’s presser, police said the investigation was ongoing and that updates would be provided later. Northeastern University police stressed that the campus was secure as investigators work.
“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.
Security expert Todd McGhee, a former Massachusetts State Police trooper, expects that investigators will be able to learn information from the device despite the blast.
“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.”
The incident has put the community on alert. Other colleges have put out warnings for students to report anything suspicious.
“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.”
Boston police also responded to a report of another suspicious package on Huntington Avenue, in the area of the Museum of Fine Arts. Police later said that was determined to be unfounded.
Cambridge police were called to investigate a suspicious package in the 1100 block of Cambridge Street Tuesday night, but said it was determined to be an empty, abandoned suitcase.
Officials encourage anyone who sees anything suspicious to call 911.
Authorities were investigating Tuesday night after a package delivered to the building exploded.
Jacob Isaacs said he was in class in Holmes Hall when they were evacuated.
“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.
Isaacs added that they did not hear anything that sounded like an explosion before they saw first responders arrive.
“Police presence immediately put up police tape and told everybody that was there to move back into the main street, and then one of the ladder trucks hoisted a ladder up to the roof of the building, and a firefighter with what I believe was an axe went up on top of the building,” said Ryan Di Corpo, another student who evacuated.
Eliane Mejía, a Northeastern University student, was there when it all happened.
“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.
Another student, Rafael Arias, was on the other side of the building at the time of the explosion.
“We just saw all the police cars coming and the sound was really frightening, I’m afraid for my safety because here there are many bedrooms in this building so it scares me a lot. I was here next door in another building until they sent us the alerts, we didn’t know what was happening,” he said in Spanish.
Northeastern’s evening classes at Behrakis, Shillman, Ryder, Kariotis, Dockser and West F have all been canceled.
The scene remains active and people are warned to avoid the area.
NBC10 Boston & NECN have a crew on scene and will provide updates as they come into the newsroom.