More PETN leakage delays reopening of North Carolina port

14 January 2010 18:35  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--More leakage of an explosive material has delayed the re-opening of the port in Morehead City, North Carolina, a US Coast Guard spokesman said on Thursday.

Authorities found additional amounts of pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) that were not involved in a Tuesday accident that prompted the port closure.

"They found PETN residue on one of the pallets," said Coast Guard petty officer Nathan Henise. The Coast Guard has not decided on when the port should be re-opened, he added.

"They're just concentrating on getting it (PETN) cleaned up and ready to move out of here," he said.

Authorities closed the port terminal on Tuesday after a forklift operator accidentally punctured nine 110-pound (0.05 tonne) drums containing pentaerythritol tetranitrate.

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

No injuries or environmental damage have been reported in the Morehead City accident. All vessel traffic has been prohibited within an established safety zone.

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

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By: Lane Kelley
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