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Officials still investigating explosion near Baltimore courthouse

The source of a loud, booming noise from a trash can outside the Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. Courthouse remained unclear Thursday despite reports of an explosion.

Courthouse explosion

A Baltimore City Sheriff’s deputy allows a fire truck to drive over police tape near the Clarence M. Mitchell courthouse, where officials are investigating the source of a loud noise from a trash can. (Maximilian Franz/The Daily Record)

No one was hurt, and authorities could not find any evidence of an explosive device after searching the area around the Baltimore City Circuit Court buildings on North Calvert Street.

Police responded to reports of an explosion at about 2:30 p.m., said Lt. Carla Lightsey of the Baltimore City Sheriff’s Office.

Lightsey said police were still investigating if the noise was an explosion and said it is still unclear who or what caused it.

“I do want to emphasize at this point, what we don’t know is what it is specifically,” Lightsey said at a press briefing.

Police evacuated both courthouses and blocked traffic on North Calvert Street well as portions of East Fayette and East Baltimore streets.

Lightsey said no bomb threats had been reported.

The investigation is ongoing, she said, and police were checking the area for other possible threats.

Residents living in apartments near the scene were blocked on their routes home by yellow caution tape late Thursday afternoon. Charles Millard, 27, works from his apartment in the Munsey Building, which is next to Courthouse East on North Calvert Street, but left to grab dinner.

“When I came back it was like this,” Millard said.

The Baltimore City Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation with the help of the Baltimore Police Department. Personnel from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the Baltimore City Fire Department also responded.