(NEWARK, N.J.) — More than nine hours after New Jersey port officials thought they heard faint “knocking” coming from a container on a cargo ship that had been at sea for weeks, no stowaways have been found, officials at the port said.
Authorities said they will continue to search the dozens of containers aboard a cargo ship that arrived in Newark Port from India, but the containers believed most likely to hold the stowaways had been cleared.
The ordeal began around 3 a.m. when officials conducting a routine check of the cargo ship believed they may have heard faint knocking coming from one of the containers onboard.
Within hours, emergency medical teams, police and federal law enforcement converged on the port as customs officials checked each container and port equipment operators raced to dig out the suspected containers. The ship, which came from India, had been out to sea for more than two weeks prior to docking, leading authorities to fear for the health of the alleged stowaways. A string of ambulances and other emergency vehicles waited just outside the port.
The ambulances have since been sent back to their regular duties.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Kevin Conlon, Euan McKirdy and Johanzynn Gatewood, CNN
Ashley Strickland, CNN
Holly Yan and Steve Forrest, CNN
Eugene Scott, CNN