MEXICO CITY (AP) — Six people tested for possible radiation exposure have been released from hospital but remain under detention as suspects in the theft of a truck carrying highly radioactive cobalt-60, officials said Friday. Six men are detained in central Mexico over the robbery earlier this week of a truck containing radioactive material from a hospital. In both cases, the thieves said they had been targeting the vehicles rather than their contents.This is not the first time radioactive materials have gone missing in Mexico.What happens to your body in extreme heat?A container of Iridium-192 used for industrial radiography was taken from a truck in the town of Cardenas in Tabasco state.The unprotected material can cause burns and permanent injuries to those who have been in contact with it for just minutes or hours.
However, the source could be extremely dangerous to a person if removed from the shielding, or if it was damaged.The Mexican authorities are currently conducting a search for the source and have issued a press release to alert the public. Officials suspect that, like in three other … Five states in Mexico are on the alert after thieves steal potentially dangerous radioactive material, officials say. (Graphic: IAEA)If you would like to learn more about the IAEA’s work, sign up for our weekly updates containing our most important news, multimedia and more.Mexico has informed the IAEA's Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC) of the theft of a truck carrying a dangerous radioactive source used in medical treatment.Mexico's "Comisión Nacional de Seguridad Nuclear y Salvaguardias (CNSNS)" said the truck, which was transporting the cobalt-60 teletherapy source from a hospital in the northern city of Tijuana to a radioactive waste storage centre, was stolen in Tepojaco near Mexico City at around 08:00 UTC on 2 December 2013.At the time the truck was stolen, the source was properly shielded. Authorities appealed for help among Mexico's population Thursday to locate stolen radioactive material, as the fourth such theft in less than two years prompted officials to mull new security measures. In 2013, a truck carrying a highly radioactive source used for cancer treatments was stolen by thieves on its way to a waste storage facility.The robbery was reported by the company Garantia Radiografica e Ingenieria which said that the material had been stolen on Monday.Mexican authorities have issued an alert for five states after the theft of potentially dangerous radioactive materials.Mexico's civil protection agency says that the material can cause death within hours or days if mishandled.Six people were arrested and taken to hospital with signs of radiation exposure but were later given the all clear by doctors.They said they had not realised that radioactive material had been inside the truck.Luis Felipe Puente, head of Mexico's civil protection agency, urged whoever finds the source to keep it at a distance and call for help.These are external links and will open in a new windowThe states of Campeche, Chiapas, Oaxaca and Veracruz are also on alert.Have you been getting these songs wrong?The Perseverance rover mission is Nasa's most ambitious hunt for life on Mars since the 1970s.
"This source is very dangerous to people if it is removed from its container," the agency warned in a statement.At least two similar incidents happened last year. The international radiation symbol, or trefoil, indicates hazardous radioactive material.