'Smoky' Packages Shut Down Md. Gov't Buildings

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Packages delivered to two state government buildings in Maryland exploded Thursday, sending sulfur-like fumes into the air and minimally hurting one mailroom worker.

The explosions happened inside state government buildings in Anne Arundel County, Md., authorities reported Thursday.

The first package was detonated around 12:30 p.m. at the Jeffrey Building on Francis Street in downtown Annapolis, Md.  About 15 minutes later, the other was opened 20 miles away at the Maryland Department of Transportation in Hanover.

"Explosion may be too strong of a word. The packages were smoldering. In one case there was a flare up," explained a state official who asked not to be identified because Maryland State Police was in charge of the investigation.

"In both instances when the small packages were opened, there was a dissemination of smoke and a smell. That's the best description we have right now," Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley said.

Shipley added that the packages were small, about the size of a book. Both buildings were evacuated, and surrounding streets were shut down.

Cabinet secretaries were also instructed to shut down mailroom operations and not deliver any mail until further notice, according to Rick Abbruzzese, a spokesman for Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley.

Maryland State Police are investigating,

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