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Where is Iridium? Police Find Stolen Van, but Its Radioactive Cargo is Gone

© AFP 2022 / TABASCO HOY The truck with radioactive material
The truck with radioactive material - Sputnik International
A truck with materials for industrial radiography, was stolen in the city of Cardenas in the southeastern state of Tabasco on Monday. An alert by federal authorities throughout southern Mexico remains valid.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Mexican police have located the stolen van but not the radioactive materials originally contained within it, local media reported.

An alert by federal authorities throughout southern Mexico remains valid, Excelsior daily newspaper informs of Thursday.

The truck, containing materials for industrial radiography, was stolen in the city of Cardenas in the southeastern state of Tabasco on Monday after employees parked it near a local mall.

Mexico Issues Alert in Five States Amid Radioactive Material Scare - Sputnik International
Mexico Issues Alert in Five States Amid Radioactive Material Scare
On Wednesday, Mexican authorities issued an alert for five states — Tabasco, as well as bordering states Campeche, Chiapas, Oaxaca and Veracruz — after they discovered the theft.

The stolen material is identified as Iridium-192, a very dangerous radioactive substance if removed from protective casing. Exposure to unprotected iridium-192 can be fatal. Locals are advised not to touch radioactive material, establish a 30-yard security perimeter around the container and inform authorities.

Theft of radioactive substances is not uncommon in Mexico.

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In February, authorities recovered three trucks with Iridium-192 shortly after they were stolen in the city of Salamanca, central Mexico.

Last July, a truck transporting Iridium-192 was stolen in the suburb of Mexico City. Mexican authorities later found it abandoned not far from the place it was taken.

In the end of 2013, thieves stole a pickup carrying Cobalt-60, a necessary material for the creation of a so-called dirty bomb, according to the IAEA, UN’s nuclear watchdog.

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