NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Ambulances and law enforcement met a cargo ship at a New Jersey pier on Wednesday after a routine inspection led the Coast Guard to believe that stowaways were inside a container loaded in India.
The container, which a manifest said was carrying machine parts to Norfolk, Va., was loaded aboard the Ville D’Aquarius in India, Coast Guard spokesman Charles Rowe said.
A Coast Guard team boarded the 850-foot-long vessel outside New York Harbor early Wednesday as the ship prepared to dock at Port Newark.
The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement Wednesday that officials are conducting a “thorough investigation of the vessel.”
The boarding party heard sounds consistent with people coming from the container, Rowe said. The boarding party followed protocol and didn’t open the container at sea in order to control the situation, Rowe said.
Customs and Border Patrol agents planned to open the container once it was unloaded.
The ship began its voyage May 30 in the United Arab Emirates, then made one stop in Pakistan and two stops in India. Its last port before Newark was in Egypt on June 15.
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