Two mail packages ignited in separate government buildings in Maryland yesterday, setting off an afternoon panic and a lockdown of state government mailrooms. And there’s evidence to suggest highway signs inspired the act.
Both packages were addressed to Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), according to The Baltimore Sun, and a source told The Sun that the package mailed to the Jeffrey Building near the State House in Annapolis contained the following message.
Report suspicious activity. Total [expletive]. You have created your own self-fulfilling prophecy
O’Malley suggested that the message referred to highway signs asking people to report suspicious activity.
“So somebody doesn’t like seeing those signs,” he said.
Some Maryland commuters have apparently complained that drivers were slowing down to read the signs. “At O’Malley’s request, the state studied the issue and removed the real-time postings from one congested area on the Capital Beltway,” NBC News reports.
The packages caused no significant injuries. A mailroom employee at the Jeffrey Building in Annapolis singed his or her fingers, but later refused medical treatment. After being opened, both packages “ignited in a small puff of smoke and smelled of sulfur,” according to The Sun.
Read more here.
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com