Packages ignite in Maryland state buildings

HANOVER, Md. (AP) - Two packages ignited when they were opened Thursday at state government buildings 20 miles apart, slightly burning the fingers of two employees but not seriously injuring anyone, police said. Authorities were investigating a third suspicious package at a state office building in Baltimore and a fourth at the courthouse, but it was not clear if they were related to the other two.

One of the two packages that ignited was addressed to Gov. Martin O'Malley and the other to the state transportation department. The State Fire Marshal's office did not find any explosive material in either.

"When both packages were opened there was a reaction that caused a flash of fire, a brief flash of fire, smoke and a smell," state police spokesman Greg Shipley said. "This is not to be compared with a significant explosion that you think of when you say that word."

The employee who burned his fingers there was taken to the hospital, as were three other people who were concerned because they were near the package when it was opened.


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