Truck carrying 'dangerous' radioactive material stolen in Mexico

Truck carrying 'dangerous' radioactive material stolen in Mexico

Credit: CNSNS

A truck carrying radioactive material was stolen in Mexico, Dec. 3, 2013.

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WHAS11.com

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 9:19 AM

(ABC News) --  A truck carrying "extremely dangerous" material used in medical treatment has been stolen in Mexico, officials said.

The truck was transporting cobalt-60 from a hospital in the northern city of Tijuana to a radioactive waste storage facility when it was stolen in Tepojaco near Mexico City Monday, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement. Cobalt-60 is a radioactive isotope and was being used in radiotherapy.

Mexican authorities are conducting a search for the material and have issued a statement to alert the public, the IAEA said.

The truck is a white Volkswagen Worker with license plate 726-DT-8, Mexico's National Commission for Nuclear Security and Safeguards said.

"At the time the truck was stolen, the source was properly shielded. However, the source could be extremely dangerous to a person if removed from the shielding, or if it was damaged," the IAEA said in the statement.

There was no indication from officials that the truck was headed for the U.S.

U.S. law enforcement and Department of Homeland Security officials are aware of the theft and working closely with Mexican authorities, a U.S. official briefed on the situation told ABC News.

Border officials armed with radiation detection devices have been alerted. It is unclear who stole the material and if they know what they have, the official said.

Click here for more from ABC News.

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