No 'dirty bomb' found at Port of Charleston, person detained, Wando terminal to reopen

Wando Terminal (WCIV)

Officials with Coast Guard Sector Charleston said Thursday that federal, state and local authorities found nothing when investigating a threat of a "dirty bomb" aboard a container ship docked at the Port of Charleston's Wando terminal.

Following a nearly seven-hour investigation that saw hundreds of workers evacuated and maritime traffic shut down near the port terminal, the Coast Guard confirmed early Thursday morning that the Maersk Memphis cargo ship had been scanned for the presence of potential threats, and nothing was found.

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.

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.

Coast Guard Sector Charleston officials said agencies still investigated the bomb threat seriously in an "abundance of caution" with the possibility of such a deadly weapon potentially nearby. A "dirty bomb" is an explosive device loaded with radioactive materials. It is not a true nuclear weapon.

Coast Guard officials say the Wando port terminal will soon reopen, and a maritime travel ban has been lifted for waters within one square nautical mile of the terminal.

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