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Radioactive material on truck stolen in Mexico

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The thieves who stole a cargo truck from a gas station in Mexico got a freebie on the truck, but not in a good way. According to the Associated Press on Dec. 4, the white Volkswagen truck that was stolen contained old medical equipment which contained radioactive material Cobalt-60 that was used for radiotherapy r.

The medical equipment was no longer in use a Mexico's public health agency and was being transported to storage.

The driver of the cargo truck, Valentin Escamilla Ortiz, stopped overnight and was resting in the truck on Nov. 28. The truck was on its way from the hospital to a radioactive waste storage center when two armed men approached driver and ordered him out of the cab. He was left in a vacant lot with his hand and feet bound.

The danger with radioactive material is potential exposure to gamma radiation, which causes cancer. The International Atomic Energy Agency has described the cargo as 'extremely dangerous' should it be removed from its protective casing, which civil protection official Ricardo Maza says is made of lead.

RT notes that though Cobalt-60 cannot be used in a nuclear weapon, it is possible to create a "dirty bomb" with it, which combines traditional explosives with radioactive material.

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