Stolen radioactive capsule found in Mexico | News | DW | 22.04.2015
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Stolen radioactive capsule found in Mexico

A radioactive capsule that was stolen last week in southeastern Mexico has been found. Local authorities say the container, which was found under a pedestrian bridge, had not been opened.

National civil protection coordinator Luis Felipe Puente said Wednesday the radioactive Iridium-192 was found abandoned under a pedestrian bridge in Cardenas, Tabasco state after an emergency call to authorities alerted them to its whereabouts.

"There are no signs that the container was opened," Christian Romero, deputy director for radiological emergencies at the national nuclear commission, told news agency AFP.

Authorities stressed the material posed no risk to public safety as long as it remained under seal.

The April 13 theft of the toolbox sized container triggered an alert across five southern and eastern states, along with federal security facilities, including Civil Protection, National Defence, the Navy and federal police.

The warning has now been lifted, Puente said.

The Iridium-192, which can have lethal consequences for anyone not properly trained to handle it, was stolen from a vehicle belonging to the private company Garantia Radiografica e Ingenieria, which uses radioactive material for industrial purposes.

Iridium-192 is used for industrial radiography to check welding seams.

Officials believe that, as in three prior cases, the thieves were unaware they had stolen radiological material and were more interested in obtaining other goods in the radiology company truck, which had been parked in a residential area of areas.

jlw/bk (AFP, dpa)

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