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Northeastern University employee injured after package detonates on campus

A second package found at the school was "rendered safe" by Boston police, an official said.

A university employee in Boston was injured Tuesday after a package that had been delivered to the school detonated, law enforcement and school officials said.

The incident occurred shortly after 7 p.m. at Northeastern University’s main campus, injuring the 45-year-old staff member, Boston Police Superintendent Felipe Colon told reporters.

The employee, who wasn’t publicly identified, was hospitalized with minor hand injuries, Colon said.

A second similar package was "rendered safe" by the department's bomb squad, Colon said.

The building where the detonation occurred, Holmes Hall, was evacuated, and the FBI was assisting the bomb squad’s investigation, an agency spokesperson said.

Two senior law enforcement officials described the package as a protective case that the employee was opening when a minor explosion occurred. A note was also found, though officials haven't described its contents.

It wasn't immediately clear who delivered the packages or where the second one was found. A motive also wasn't known.

Colon declined to provide additional details at a news conference, citing the investigation, but said the scene was secure.

Northeastern University said campus police were increasing patrols and that the school would be "fully operational" on Wednesday.

Police outside Northeastern University after a possible package explosion Tuesday.
Police outside Northeastern University after a possible package explosion Tuesday.@skytopjf via Twitter

Other schools in the area, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston University, urged people to be cautious and report suspicious packages. Harvard University said it was increasing campus police patrols in response to the detonation.

“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," he said.