CASA GRANDE, AZ – The Social Security Administration building in Casa Grande rocked from an explosion on Friday morning. The eruption was the as a result of a blast caused by a device that detonated at the rear of the building, according to a city police official.
The explosion rocked the entire back entry way and impacted several other downtown businesses. Television images reveal that the building was blackened around the entry door, and there was damage to the side of a car near the doorway.
The amount of damage has not been released.
Casa Grande Fire Marshal Barbara Rice says the explosion was reported just before 8:30 a.m.
The explosion occurred around 8:15 a.m. at 501 N. Marshall Street in downtown, near Florence Boulevard and Pinal Avenue. With other businesses operating out of the same building, officials had to evacuate people from their places of employment, according to Agustin Avalos of the city of Casa Grande Police Department.
According to Associated Press, Ed Mouradian was at the scene after the explosion. His wife, Faith, is an employee in the building and said he got a call from one of his wife’s co-workers about the explosion.
“She was crying and extremely upset,” Mouradian said. “I am concerned for all the employees’ well-beings. It’s a small office that’s very tight-knit.”
The explosive device has not been identified.
The investigation has now been turned over to the FBI as officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were at the scene, Avalos said.
ATF spokesman Tom Mangan says they are just starting their work and more information will be available later Friday morning.
Casa Grande police did not immediately respond to requests for more information.
Casa Grande is about 50 miles south of Phoenix.