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Suspicious package explodes at Northeastern University in Boston

Sept. 13 (UPI) -- One of two suspicious packages delivered to Boston's Northeastern University exploded Tuesday evening, injuring one person, authorities and officials said.

Police and local emergency medical units responded to calls that a package had exploded at the university's Holmes Hall on Leon Street at about 7:18 p.m., Felipe Colon, superintendent of the Boston Police Department, said in a Tuesday night press conference.

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Authorities said police arrived at the scene within minutes to discover a 45-year-old male staff member suffering from minor hand injuries due to the explosion.

Boston EMS confirmed on Twitter that it had treated one person at the scene before transporting the victim via ambulance to an area hospital.

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Colon said a search of the premises produced a second similar package, which was "rendered safe by our bomb squad."

"I will tell you that the scene is secure and the investigation is ongoing," he said.

The university told UPI in a statement that the package had been delivered to Holmes Hall and detonated when the staff member attempted opened it.

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The building was then evacuated and a message was disseminated shortly before 8 p.m. urging people to avoid the area, it said.

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Police Commissioner Michael Cox called on anyone with information about the incident to contact the authorities.

"We advise any folks out there that might see something, say something," he said during the press conference.

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The Northeastern Police Department had instructed students to stay away from Holmes Hall during the investigation and said some classes held in the area were canceled.

It said in a short statement late Tuesday that "Boston campus is expected to be open and fully operational tomorrow."

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, both located in Boston, informed their students of the explosion and advised them to be cautious.

"We are working with law enforcement and increasing patrols on Harvard campuses," Harvard said on Twitter, while MIT's police department urged students to report any suspicious packages.

The investigation is ongoing, authorities said.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu thanked the police and EMS for their swift and coordinated response while stating that the safety of the city's students and staff was of the utmost importance.

"As a mom, I just sent my own two little babies back to school in our Boston public schools. I take very seriously that this city is home to everyone's young people from our littlest learners up to our college students and university staff, and so we want to make sure to emphasize that this is of the utmost priority, the safety and well being of all our young people here," she said.

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