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S. Carolina port terminal evacuated over 'dirty bomb' fears

S. Carolina port terminal evacuated over 'dirty bomb' fears
A terminal at the Port of Charleston in South Carolina was briefly evacuated because of a ‘potential threat in a container ship, the US Coast Guard said in a statement.

“Authorities were made aware of a potential threat in a container aboard the vessel Maersk Memphis in the [seaport of] Port of Charleston” at 8:00pm local time on Wednesday, the US Coast Guard said

According to the statement, the Maersk Memphis is currently moored at Charleston’s Wando terminal “which has been evacuated while law enforcement units from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies investigate the threat.”

The authorities later established a safety zone around the vessel, the Coast Guard said.

The FBI has also arrived to investigate a report of a “dirty bomb” aboard a vessel, a source from the Coast Guard told local WCSC-TV. 

Officers from the Charleston County Sheriff’s Department, as well as hazmat crews, have arrived at the scene, according to WCSC-TV.

The Maersk Memphis has been evacuated and its crew is safe and ashore, Reuters reported, citing Maersk Group.

The US Coast Guard found four containers “where threat was posed.”

They were “scanned and cleared by authorities,” it said, adding that the Unified Command had determined there was “no existing threat to the port.”

“Terminal will reopen and safety zone has been lifted,” the statement added.