Federal officials are examining whether staff members who reported an explosion at Northeastern University may have lied to investigators and orchestrated the case, law enforcement officials said Wednesday. .
An official said investigators had identified inconsistencies in the employee’s testimony and raised suspicion because his injuries did not match those typically associated with an explosion.
Officials could not publicly discuss the details of the investigation and spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Northeastern employees said late Tuesday, a hard plastic box exploded on a campus in Boston, causing minor injuries, according to authorities.
The case has a rambling note against virtual reality and also involves Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, a law enforcement official said. No explosives were found and they do not believe the package was sent through the US Postal Service, the official said.
The official described the case as a “pelican-style” case. Pelican is a company that produces hard cases designed to protect sensitive devices.
A spokesman for the FBI’s Boston office declined to comment on Wednesday, saying the investigation “remains very active and fluid.”
Northeastern in a notice posted on its website Wednesday said the campus is safe.
“Events like the one that occurred on our Boston campus last night can create or add to anxiety for many of us,” the post was credited to CEO David Madigan. and Prime Minister Kenneth Henderson. “We want to emphasize what informed our community last night: Multiple law enforcement agencies have determined that the campus is safe and secure.”
The campus is open as usual for classes and other activities on Wednesdays. Counseling and other support services have been provided to students, faculty, and staff.
The university said the package delivered to Holmes Hall exploded after 7 p.m. Tuesday when an employee opened it. The employee, a 45-year-old man, was taken to hospital with minor hand injuries, police said. No names have been made public.
Boston’s bomb squad disabled the second package near the city’s Museum of Fine Arts, near the Northeastern campus.
Holmes Hall is home to the university’s Immersive Media Lab, which according to the school’s website includes technologies for designing, developing, and exploring the virtual world. It is also home to a creative writing program and a research program on women, gender and sexuality.
Northeastern is a private university in downtown Boston with approximately 16,000 undergraduate students.
The case marked one of the first horrors in Boston since 2013, when two bombs placed near the finish line of the Boston Marathon killed three spectators and injured more than 260 others.
Associated Press writers Alanna Durkin Richer and Mark Pratt of Boston contributed to this report.