An employee at the East Chicago Post Office was injured Wednesday evening following an explosion inside, authorities said.
East Chicago Fire Chief Anthony Serna said firefighters were called about a report of an explosion at the post office just before 6 p.m. Wednesday.
When firefighters arrived, they were told a female post office employee had been injured, Serna said. She was brought to St. Catherine’s Hospital in East Chicago with injuries that were not life-threatening, Serna said.
Authorities said at an evening news conference that two employees were inside at the time of the blast and another was out making deliveries.
Serna said he could not confirm whether authorities found additional bombs, because firefighters did not enter the building. Their protocol for that type of call is to “set a perimeter around the building,” Serna said.
Such a situation was rare in his experience, he said.
“Bomb threats, yes,” Serna said. “An actual explosion like this is rare.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation would now take the lead of the investigation because it happened at a federal building, Serna said.
Lake County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Mark Back said his agency responded to the post office, 901 E. Chicago Ave., and was providing police dogs to help with the investigation.
An approximately two-block stretch of Chicago Avenue was blocked off near the post office Wednesday evening.
U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spokeswoman Ronnie Dahl said she could confirm multiple department agents were at the scene, but was unable to provide further information via phone late Wednesday.
Police and fire trucks were still on the scene late Wednesday night, as well as an explosives removal truck from the Porter County Sheriff’s Department. Hammond police and a truck from the Indiana State Police also responded to the scene Wednesday night.
The Associated Press contributed.