A package that detonated Tuesday night at Northeastern University contained a note criticizing virtual reality and Facebook cofounder Mark Zuckerberg, sources confirmed to NBC Boston.
The package was delivered shortly after 7 p.m. to Holmes Hall on the Boston campus and detonated when a 45-year-old staff member opened what two senior law enforcement officials described to NBC News as a protective Pelican case. Pelican is a brand of gear used to safely store cameras, guns and other items.
Sources told NBC Boston the note found with package referred to virtual reality and Zuckerberg, the Facebook co-founder and Meta CEO whose company has made a major push into the virtual reality version of the internet knows as the metaverse.
The staff member who opened the package, who has not been identified, was hospitalized with minor hand injuries, Boston Police Superintendent Felipe Colon said.
The hall was evacuated and evening classes in nearby buildings were canceled Tuesday night. As of Wednesday morning, the campus was deemed to be “safe and secure” with classes and campus activities resuming, the school said in a statement.
Sources told NBC Boston that the incident did not involve an explosive device. The sources described it as an over-pressurized case.
A second, similar package was found and “rendered safe” by the police department’s bomb squad, Colon said at a news conference.
It’s not clear who delivered the packages or where the second package was found. A motive remains unknown.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said the situation is being handled with the “utmost priority.”
“I take very seriously that this city is home to everyone’s young people,” she said at a news conference.
The FBI is assisting with the case as well as the bomb squad’s investigation.