North Carolina port evacuated due to explosive alert

12 January 2010 18:29  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Authorities closed the port and downtown of Morehead City, North Carolina, on Tuesday due to an accidental puncturing of drums containing explosive material, officials said.

Initial media reports said nine containers of material identified by Morehead Fire Chief Wes Lail as pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) had been accidentally punctured.

PETN was the material allegedly found in the underwear of the Nigerian man who is accused of trying to detonate a bomb on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on 25 December.

One of the deepest ports on the US East coast, Morehead City is a major entry for rubber and other commodities.

A police spokesman told the Reuters news agency that the port was evacuated as a precaution. "Everything indicates this was by accident," the spokesman said.

The North Carolina State Ports Authority said the accident occurred during a vessel operation and that there had been no reported injuries or damage to the environment.

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By: Lane Kelley
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