East Chicago, Indiana Pipe Bomb Post Office Explosion: Reports

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A person was injured after what was appears to be two pipe bombs exploded at a U.S. Post Office in East Chicago, Indiana, according to multiple news reports.

“A fire official at the scene told The Times that they have found what they believe to be two pipe bombs and that at least one person is injured,” reported NWITimes.com.

“The official also stated that members from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were en route,” the newspaper added. According to WGN, Tom Ahern, ATF spokesman, confirmed that account on September 6. “It is suspected to be a couple of pipe bombs,” Ahern told WGN of the blast. The injured person has not yet been identified.

Photos and videos filled social media of the scene.

Chicago5 reports that the call about the explosion came in to authorities around 6 p.m. at 901 E. Chicago Ave. The television station reported that parts of the street were closed to traffic and a large law enforcement response was at the scene. The postal inspector was also at the scene.

Very few details – including possible suspect or motive – were released on the evening of September 6 as the incident was still unfolding. One local television station obtained aerial photos of the scene, although no damage was clearly present in them. It’s not yet clear whether the blast occurred inside the building or outside of it somehow.

The fire chief told NWI.com that he “could not say if anyone was in the building at the time but that the post office closes at 6 p.m.,” one minute before the 911 call about the explosion came in to authorities. K-9 units were also spotted assisting authorities at the scene, according to the newspaper and photos posted on social media.

Pipe bombs at a federal post office is a highly unusual crime.