The East Chicago Fire Department was called out to a possible explosion in the city’s Post Office at approximately 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Chief Francisco Mendez said the FBI, ATF Chicago Division, the United States Postal Department, and other agencies were at the East Chicago Main Passport Post Office on East Chicago Avenue investigating the incident and went on to confirm there had been at least one explosive detonation in the building.

One employee received minor injuries when one or possibly two devices detonated in the post office. While Mendez went on to say he was unable to confirm if there was more than one detonation, bomb technicians were sweeping the building for any possible additional explosive devices.

As reported by NBC Chicago Mendez also could not confirm exactly where the explosive device or devices were located at the time of the blast, but officials believe it was related to a package in the post office.

Two employees were in the post office at the time of the explosion

Mendez went on to confirm there were two employees working in the building at the time of the explosion and a third employee was out making deliveries at the time. ABC 7 Chicago reports that the woman who was injured was a new hire to the post office and a co-worker told them she was pregnant. FBI Special Agent Bob Ramsey said while the employee only suffered minor injuries, due to her pregnancy she was transported to St.

Catherine’s Hospital for a further medical evaluation.

Mendez said the post office was closed at the time of the explosion and would remain closed while investigations continue.

Police closed a portion of East Chicago Avenue to traffic, while police and fire crew vehicles blocked off an area around the building. At least two K9 officers were also on the scene, sniffing for additional explosive devices. A bomb disposal robot was also deployed at the scene by the Porter County bomb squad.

The Times of Northwest Indiana later reported that a fire official had confirmed that pipe bombs were found in the building.

Residents of East Chicago react to the explosion

Residents reacted to the explosion, with Akeyla Myers saying it was scary and makes people wonder if it was a terrorist attack. Patricia Sims, another resident, also said it was scary, as they are already having problems with lead emissions in the area and now they get to hear about a bomb exploding in the local post office.