S. Carolina port terminal evacuated over 'dirty bomb' fears
“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.”
#Update A 1 NM safety zone has been established around the vessel while law enforcement authorities investigate the threat.— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) June 15, 2017
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.
#update the original reporting source of the threat in port of Charleston has been detained by authorities for further questioning.— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) June 15, 2017
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.