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Coast Guard reopens Port of Charleston terminal after report of 'dirty bomb'

By STEVEN FORD | Orlando Sentinel (Tribune News Service) | Published: June 15, 2017

The U.S. Coast Guard has given the all-clear after investigating a potential threat at the Port of Charleston on Thursday morning.

The initial warning stated authorities were made aware of a "dirty bomb'' — a device combining conventional explosives with radioactive material, such as nuclear waste — in a container aboard the vessel Maersk Memphis, which was at the port.

According to an emailed release from the Coast Guard, the agency learned of the potential threat at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

The release, sent from the Coast Guard’s 7th District offices in Miami, stated that Charleston's Wando terminal had been evacuated while law enforcement from federal, state and local agencies investigated the ship.

The person who reported the threat was detained for questioning, the Coast Guard told The Post and Courier newspaper. That individual does not appear to have any official connection to the port, Coast Guard Lt. J.B. Zorn said.

In a tweet Thursday morning, Jim Newsome, the president and CEO of the S.C. State Ports Authority, thanked federal, state and local officials upon the reopening of the terminal, the newspaper reported.

©2017 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)
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