Mexican authorities on high alert after thieves steal pick-up truck carrying dangerous radioactive materials

Monday, February 29, 2016
By Paul Martin

Five Mexican states have been warned about theft of radioactive material
The goods, known as iridium-192, was in a pick-up truck that was stolen
Used for industrial radiography, the material can cause permanent injury

29 February 2016

Five Mexican states have been put on alert after a truck carrying a container of potentially dangerous radioactive material was stolen, the interior ministry said.

The National Coordination of Civil Protection issued the warning after a company in the central state of Queretaro reported that a pick-up truck carrying radioactive iridium-192 had been stolen.

The ministry said the material ‘can be dangerous for people if not handled safely’ and could cause ‘permanent or serious injury to a person who is handling or in contact with it for a short time’.

Such damage could occur after contact lasting anywhere from minutes to hours, it added.

Officials said the radioactive material represented a significant health risk if taken outside its container, but was not dangerous if kept sealed.

The material, which is used in industrial radiography, belonged to the company Industrial Maintenance Center located in the city of San Juan del Rio.

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