Massive Response at NJ Port After Stowaways Suspected in Cargo Container
The U.S. Coast Guard suspects there are stowaways in a container that was loaded on a ship docked at Port Newark in New Jersey Wednesday.
Coast Guard spokesman Charles Rowe says the container was loaded aboard The Villa D'Aquarius in India. The manifest says the container was carrying machine parts to be unloaded in Norfolk, Va.
Rowe says a boarding party heard sounds consistent with people coming from the container, but opted not to open the container at sea in order to control the situation.
Ship crew members told the Coast Guard that there were several stowaways on board, an official familiar with the situation tells NBC 4 New York.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were notified to meet the vessel at the dock. Chopper 4 captured video of a large response.
A law enforcement official at the scene told NBC 4 New York he believes "it will take a significant amount of time" to reach the container where the alleged stowaways are. That official didn't know how many were allegedly aboard.
The ship began its voyage several weeks ago in Pakistan. Rowe says its last port was in Egypt.