The Port of Charleston. Credit: SCPA
US security agencies reopened the Port of Charleston’s Wando Welch terminal several hours after it was evacuated to investigate a potential threat on board Maersk Memphis, which was tied up alongside.
A unified command of US federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies located four containers on the vessel believed to pose a threat, but the boxes were cleared after being scanned. The authorities determined there was no existing threat to the port, reopening the terminal and lifting a one nautical mile safety zone.
The US Coast Guard (USCG) said in a statement that authorities were made aware at 2000 h local time on the night of 14 May that a container aboard the Maersk Line vessel might pose a threat. Wando Welch terminal was immediately evacuated.
The claim that cargo inside a Maersk Memphis container posed a threat was made by a YouTube conspiracy theorist. “The original reporting source of the threat in the port of Charleston has been detained by authorities for further questioning,” the USCG Southeast said in a Twitter update.
Contact Greg Knowler at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: @greg_knowler.