Crews Begin Cleaning Mustard Gas-Tainted Clam Boat

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Crews have begun decontaminating a clam boat that was isolated off New Bedford after it pulled up munitions shells tainted with mustard gas.

Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Jeff Hall said officials are hoping the New Jersey-based vessel ESS Pursuit will be free to leave by Thursday.

He said cleanup crews are relying heavily on elbow grease and bleach, which dilutes the mustard gas.

Hall said a National Guard team also boarded the vessel to check for more contaminated areas after finding mustard gas in the galley earlier this week.

After interviewing a member of the crew, the Coast Guard on Wednesday revised to eight the number of shells the boat pulled up off Long Island on Sunday. The next day, crewman Konstantin Burndshov was hospitalized with blisters from mustard gas exposure.

This program aired on June 9, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.