Radioactive Material Heist in Mexico - Update
(Hueypoxtla, Mexico) The stolen truck containing cobalt-60 has been found.
The radioactive material was said to be still with the vehicle but its container had been opened – presumably by the thieves – and removed from the truck.It appears the thieves didn't have a clue about what they were stealing.
“This means that the person or persons who removed it now must be feeling the symptoms of acute radiation (poisoning),” said Mardonio Jimenez, a physicist with the nuclear safety commission.
The thieves have already died or are “at the point of dying because it was a very high intensity,” he added, although since the truck was found abandoned in a rural area some 30 or 40 kilometers (19 to 25 miles) from where it was stolen authorities have said there is no danger to the general public.
Radioactive Material Heist in Mexico
[Previous 12/4/13 post]
A truck carrying "extremely dangerous" radioactive material has been stolen in Mexico, authorities said Wednesday.Let's hope the truck and its cargo are recovered soon.
The vehicle was transporting the radioactive isotope cobalt-60 from a hospital where it was being used for radiotherapy, the International Atomic Energy Agency said.
Experts said that if the material gets into the wrong hands it could be turned into a "dirty bomb" and potentially spread cancer-causing radiation across a wide area.
"At the time the truck was stolen, the source was properly shielded," the IAEA said in a statement. "However, the source could be extremely dangerous to a person if removed from the shielding, or if it was damaged."
The vehicle carrying the cobalt-60 was a 2.5-ton Volkswagen truck with an integrated crane, Mexico's National Commission of Nuclear Safety and Safeguards (CNSNS) said. The truck was stolen on Monday at a gas station in Tepojaco, near Mexico City.