BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A firework placed inside a trash can may have been the cause of a loud explosion outside a Baltimore City courthouse Thursday afternoon.

It happened around 2:30 p.m. in front of the Baltimore City Circuit Court Clarence Mitchell West Building, located at 100 North Calvert Street.

White smoke could be seen coming from a trash can on the sidewalk.

Reports of the explosion at the busy downtown courthouse shut down several city blocks. Federal and local authorities, including the Department of Homeland Security, hazmat crews and the bomb squad, were all brought in to investigate.

Hundreds of employees and jurors were evacuated.

Luckily, no one was hurt and no damage was reported.

The Sheriff’s Office’s preliminary examination of the evidence at the scene indicates that the device used was a low impact item characteristic of a firework.

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives will do further analysis to determine the exact item used in the crime.

Meanwhile, a criminal investigation is underway.

Sheriff John W. Anderson has a message to the suspect or suspects.

“This crime is being taken very seriously and your best course of action is to immediately turn yourselves in to law enforcement authorities,” Anderson said.

If you have any information on this case, you can report it anonymously to the Metro Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-866-7LOCKUP to be eligible for up to a $2,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.


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