6 Busted in Mexico Radioactive Truck Theft

They're hospitalized, tested for exposure

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 6, 2013 2:51 PM CST | Updated Dec 6, 2013 5:15 PM CST

(Newser) – Six people have been arrested in the theft of a truck carrying radioactive material in Mexico, an official tells the AP. All were admitted to a hospital in Pachuca, central Mexico, where they're being tested for radiation exposure. Another official says all six are dizzy and showing skin irritation, but just one is suffering from vomiting, which is associated with radiation poisoning. According to tests, however, "none are showing immediate signs" of such poisoning, nor are any in serious condition.

Following the hospitalization, the suspects are set to go to Mexico's federal authorities. The stolen shipment had 3,000 curries of radioactivity, placing it in Category 1: "It would probably be fatal to be close to this amount of unshielded radioactive material for a period in the range of a few minutes to an hour," the International Atomic Energy Agency said. Another expert has said the thieves "will, without a doubt, die" from the exposure.

Men stand next to National Commission of Nuclear Safety and Mexican Federal Police vehicles in a field near the village of Hueypoxtla, Mexico, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013.
Men stand next to National Commission of Nuclear Safety and Mexican Federal Police vehicles in a field near the village of Hueypoxtla, Mexico, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013.   (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
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