WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The FBI and the SBI are conducting an investigation at a storage facility unit on Carolina Beach Road south of Monkey Junction. Law enforcement has ordered a mandatory evacuation for businesses in a shopping center next to North State Storage as they continue to investigate.
New Hanover County Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Jerry Brewer says it started this morning when the FBI began dealing with a suspicious PKG. Brewer says they used a robot to shoot the package, at which point the package exploded. It’s not clear if they shot it with water or live ammunition, but agents did not expect it to explode.
Brewer says agents are dealing with two more packages in a unit. They do not know what is in the packages, but they are X-raying them now.
Brewer says if they determine that the packages do contain explosives, they will close down Carolina Beach Road.
Spokeswomen for the FBI and SBI confirm their agents and the SBI bomb squad are on scene connected to an investigation being handled by the FBI. A SBI spokeswoman says all its agents are at the single location, despite an earlier report from another Wilmington TV station that the SBI was at another location in a neighborhood farther down Carolina Beach Road.
A witness called WWAY around 12:45 p.m. and said he saw a bomb unit at North State, which is at the intersection of Sanders Road, and heard an explosion coming from the property a few minutes earlier. A New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office spokesman confirmed a small explosion. He referred us to the FBI and SBI.
The Wilmington Police Department’s bomb unit is also on scene to assist.
The StarNews reports the owner of a neighboring business said a law enforcement officer told her investigators “believed somebody was building bombs in a storage unit next door and one of the bombs exploded. The officer told her other bombs were in the unit.”
WWAY has a crew at the scene. Stay with us for more information as it becomes available, including live updates on WWAY NewsChannel 3 at 5, 5:30 and 6 p.m.