Employee injured by pipe bomb at East Chicago post office

SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE - A postal employee was injured when a pipe bomb exploded Wednesday evening at a post office in East Chicago, Indiana.

The explosion happened about 6 p.m. at a U.S. Post Office branch at 901 E. Chicago Ave., according to the FBI.

“We can confirm there was only one pipe bomb which injured a postal employee who was treated for minor injuries,” the FBI said in a statement Thursday. The investigation is ongoing and “investigators are still trying to ascertain if there are any terrorism links.”

The explosion poses no ongoing public safety concern, the FBI added later Thursday.

The female post office employee was taken to St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago, according to East Chicago police. There was no visible smoke or flame reported after the blast.

The post office, which sustained no damage in the blast, was reopened Thursday morning, according to U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman Mary T. Johnson. There was no disruption in mail delivery service.

Along with the FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the East Chicago Police Department, Porter County sheriff’s office, Lake County sheriff’s office, Indiana State Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s office responded to the scene.

K-9 Units from the Lake County sheriff’s office also responded to the explosion, according to sheriff’s office spokesman Mark Back.

The investigation is ongoing and is being led by the FBI. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the FBI at (800) 225-5324 or www.fbi.gov/tips.