MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. - Federal and state authorities are investigating the possibility that there's a "dirty bomb" on a ship at a local terminal, reports CBS Charleston, S.C. station WCSC-TV.Coast Guard officials say the FBI is on-scene.The terminal was evacuated.A dirty bomb is composed of conventional explosives and radioactive material. According to emergency officials, no radiation has been found.A Coast Guard statement says authorities were made aware at 8 p.m. of a potential threat in a container aboard the vessel Maersk Memphis. #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 Maersk Memphis is currently moored at Charleston's Wando terminal, which has been evacuated while bomb detection units from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies investigate the threat," the Coast Guard said. The Coast Guard says a unified command has been established to oversee the coordinated response.Authorities were seen taping off a ship. Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, SportsThe Charleston County Sheriff's Office, Hazmat and EMS crews were also on scene. Workers say they were told to leave the terminal at around 9 p.m. Boaters say they were also escorted off the water due to the situation.
Lt. James Zorn, spokesperson for Coast Guard Sector Charleston, said early Thursday morning the ship in question is the Maersk Memphis. The Memphis docked at the Wando port terminal shortly before 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.According to Capt. Stump, a YouTube "conspiracy theorist" made a claim about a threat aboard the Memphis, and authorities are investigating the threat out of an abundance of caution.In two videos posted Wednesday to YouTube, a man named George Webb claims there to be a "dirty bomb" aboard the Memphis, loaded in Pakistan during a recent trip to the Middle East.According to online records from Maersk Lines, the Memphis did return recently to the U.S. from the Middle East.Between leaving the U.S. April 14 and returning June 12, Maersk records show the Memphis docked at ports in the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, India, Oman, Egypt and Spain.A "dirty bomb" is defined by several online sources as an explosive device loaded with radioactive or radiation polluted materials. It is not a true nuclear weapon.According to Lt. Zorn with the Coast Guard, investigators as of Thursday morning had zero credible information to suggest there is a "dirty bomb" aboard the Memphis. Lt. Zorn reiterated that agencies are investigating the threat out of an overabundance of caution.Lt. Zorn also said Thursday Coast Guard personnel in major ports such as Charleston are outfitted with radiation detection devices. Lt. Zorn says results are not yet available from a radiation sweep aboard the Memphis by Coast Guard Sector Charleston.As the investigation continues, the Coast Guard has closed portions of the Cooper and Wando rivers within one square nautical mile of the Wando terminal to boat traffic.Lt. Zorn said to his knowledge there had been no reported injuries or hospitalizations related to the reported bomb threat on the Memphis.The Coast Guard is the lead investigating agency in this case.This is a developing story and will be updated.
Shortly after 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Coast Guard officials say they were alerted to the threat of a possible "dirty bomb" aboard the Memphis by a so-called "YouTube conspiracy theorist." The Coast Guard says the person who made the initial claims of a bomb aboard the Memphis has been detained for questioning.ABC News 4 found two videos posted Wednesday to YouTube which featured a man named George Webb claiming there to be a "dirty bomb" aboard the Memphis. Webb claimed the bomb was loaded onto the ship in Pakistan during a recent trip to the Middle East. Authorities have not said if Webb is the person they have detained.