Packages explode at U.S. state government buildings

08:05, January 07, 2011      

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Law enforcement officials are pictured entering the Maryland Department of Transport headquarters in Hanover, Maryland, in this still image taken from a video released on January 6, 2011. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Two packages detonated on Thursday at two government buildings in the U.S. state of Maryland, but caused no serious injuries, state authorities said.

One package detonated at the Jeffrey Building in Annapolis, which houses agencies including the Governor's Office of Homeland Security, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the office of the Secretary of State, while the other was at the Maryland Department of Transportation headquarters in Hanover, Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley told reporters.

The incidents occurred at around noon. The book-size packages gave off smoke and odor when they were opened by employees in the mail rooms of the two buildings.

Several employees at both sites of the incidents reported singed fingers, said Shipley. Some of them were transported to hospital as a precaution, but no serious injuries were reported.

This was no serious physical harm, no property damage, and could not be compared to significant explosion, Shipley said.

No explosive material has been found at the current stage of investigation, he said, adding that all Maryland state buildings were quarantining mails.

Authorities have shut down mail room operations in government offices across the state, and state police and the FBI were involved in the investigation, local media reported.
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