July 4. 2014
|Members of the Mexican Civil Proteccion check a truck around the site where stolen radioactive material was retrieved on June 18, 2014 in Tultepec, Mexico (AFP Photo/Victor Rojas)|
Mexico City (AFP) - The Mexican government warned Friday that a vehicle containing radioactive material has been stolen, and issued a dire warning to the thieves against taking the potentially deadly material from its protective container.
Federal civil defense officials said the vehicle had been transporting deadly iridium-192, a radioactive substance used in making some industrial products.
The substance "can be dangerous for human health if removed from its container," the officials said in a statement, adding that the material can be lethal even if handled for only a brief time.
The theft in Mexico state prompted officials to issue an alert throughout the capital region and in neighboring states.
It recalled a similar incident in December, when thieves stole a cargo truck containing highly radioactive cobalt-60, apparently unaware of the deadly cargo within the vehicle.
Authorities ultimately arrested several suspects in that case after recovering the lethal material.