Mexican authorities recover radioactive source

Mexican officials said on Thursday that the radioactive source stolen last week and abandoned in a field has been recovered.

The ComisiĆ³n Nacional de Seguridad Nuclear y Salvaguardias said the recovery operation was completed on Dec. 10 using a Federal Police robot.

The radioactive source had been removed from its protective shell, but CNSNS reports that it is intact and undamaged, and there is no contamination in the area.

The radioactive source, which was used for cancer treatment, was on a truck that was stolen on Dec. 2. It was located two days later near Hueypoxtla in Mexico State.

The International Atomic Energy Agency identified the source as Category 1 and extremely dangerous. The agency said the source would cause permanent injury to an unprotected person who came in contact with it. The source would be fatal if a person was in contact with it for more than a few minutes.

CNSNS reports that one member of the public is receiving medical treatment in Mexico City after he visited the hospital with skin damage that indicated overexposure from carrying the source on his shoulder.

More than 60 people went for medical attention, but have not shown signs of overexposure.

The IAEA said someone who has been exposed to the radioactive source does not pose a contamination risk to the public. The agency believes the general public is safe, and is in continued contact with the Mexican authorities.