North Carolina’s Morehead City port remained closed for a second day Wednesday as authorities sought to clean up a hazardous materials accident scene that forced the facility to shut down the day before.
The North Carolina State Ports Authority had planned to open the port Wednesday, but port officials said they were focused on ensuring “utmost safety procedures” in keeping operations closed.
“The Ports Authority’s goal is to reopen the Port of Morehead City as safely and as quickly as possible,” said CEO Thomas J. Eagar.
Early Tuesday morning, a fork-lift operator punctured one or more containers of the highly explosive material PETN. Although no injuries or environmental damage were reported, the port quickly closed and evacuated an area within 300 yards of the port. All vessel traffic is prohibited within the safety zone. U.S. highway 70 is closed from 4th Street in Morehead City to the Morehead-Beaufort high-rise bridge.
Carteret County first responders and emergency management officials responded to the hazardous materials incident at the port. The remediation work is being performed under the direction of the U.S. Coast Guard.