American authorities said a small package addressed to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano ignited in a District postal facility Friday, a day after two similar parcels containing low-grade incendiary devices ignited in Maryland government buildings, slightly injuring the employees who opened them.
The latest incident, in which no one was hurt, occurred in a Northeast Washington postal facility that was set up to screen mail sent to Congress and federal agencies after the terrorists attacks and anthrax scare of 2001.
The package sent to Napolitano was not opened but ignited after a worker sorting mail tossed it into a bin, authorities said. The postal facility, in the 3300 block of V Street NE, was evacuated.
The incident in the District confirmed fears that the two Maryland packages were not the only ones in the mail, and it heightened the urgency of an already large investigation involving local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.