Dive team, bomb squad unsure of underwater explosion's cause

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A Charleston County dive team and bomb squad sent to investigate a possible underwater explosion 30 to 40 feet from the Charleston City Marina resurfaced with a metal object and little else.

Officials said they have no explanation for the underwater explosion and no boaters reported damage to their vessels. The metal object was turned over to police investigators.

Divers said a long, jagged pipe was on the ocean floor as well. They could not recover it.

The explosion was heard around 1 p.m. Tuesday.

A Charleston marina employee said in an incident report to Charleston police that he felt what seemed like a "loud boom." which shook the dock office. Immediately following the explosion a call came in from the first mate of the Themis, a nearby vessel in the marina.

According to the captain of the Themis, the vessel's emergency alarms and warnings were activated following the explosion. The crew of the vessel reportered seeing what they described as an 8-foot bubble emerging from the water approximately 25 feet from their vessel. They estimated the water bubble to be about 30 feet in diameter.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the Department of Health and Environmental Control, Customs, the Joint Terrorism Task force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating.

The Charleston Coast Guard is also on scene and officials are asking people to avoid the marina. There is a safety zone set up in that area.

Other investigations are pending, said police.

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