A dramatic incident unfolded when a driver attempted to breach the exit gates of a South Carolina nuclear plant on Thursday night, barely an hour after security personnel had previously barred the same vehicle from entering the facility, according to authorities.
A retractable security barrier successfully thwarted the vehicle with an Arkansas license plate at the Oconee nuclear station near Seneca around 8 p.m., as detailed by Jimmy Watt, the spokesperson for the Oconee County sheriff’s office.
The driver subsequently reversed and endeavored to traverse a dirt road, while security personnel from Duke Energy tried to impede the vehicle. In a perilous turn of events, the driver seemingly attempted to strike the security personnel before recklessly plowing through a fence and escaping the confines of the nuclear plant property, as disclosed by Watt.
An ensuing development saw the vehicle being fired upon at a short distance from the plant. However, law enforcement officers have not yet been able to ascertain the source of the gunfire, Watt reported.
Eerily, the same vehicle had appeared an hour prior in an attempt to breach the entrance gate, prompting authorities to instruct the driver to leave the premises.
In response to these unsettling events, a nationwide bulletin was disseminated to law enforcement agencies across the United States, urging them to be on the lookout for a silver 2002 Toyota Camry bearing an Arkansas license plate reading 380-VDR, Watt affirmed.
Duke Energy has confirmed that none of its security personnel sustained injuries during the incident.
The Oconee nuclear station is equipped with three nuclear reactors and marked its 50th year of power generation on Lake Keowee. Officials have emphasized that the facility continues to operate safely.
In a statement, Duke Energy asserted, “Duke Energy has comprehensive security plans and a well-trained security workforce in place. A vehicle entered an administrative gate but was not able to access the plant due to our multiple layers of security.”