‘Extremely Dangerous’ Radioactive Truck Hijacked in Mexico

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By Jack Moore | December 4, 2013 10:02 PM EST

A truck transporting dangerous medical radioactive material has been stolen in Mexico, according to the UN's nuclear agency.

Mexico reported to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that the truck was holding a "dangerous radioactive source" used for cancer treatments when it was stolen. The vehicle has yet to be found.

The equipment, being transported from a hospital in Tijuana to a radioactive waste storage centre, is reported to be outdated technology used to perform radiotherapy.

"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 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said.

"The Mexican authorities are currently conducting a search for the source and have issued a press release to alert the public," the watchdog continued.

The hijack, which took place near Mexico City, raises questions about the danger posed by the amount of radioactive material around the world that is inadequatetly secured.

The radioactive material could not be used to create a nuclear weapon but could be utilised to create a 'dirty bomb' - a device which spreads radioactive material over a wide area, posing a risk to a large number of people.

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