Radioactive Material, Stolen Truck Recovered In Mexico

The truck was stolen on Monday and was carrying cobalt 60. Update: The radioactive material was found about a half-mile from where the stolen truck was discovered.

This image shows a piece of machinery that is part of the cargo of a stolen truck. AP Photo / Via CNSNS

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Updated — Dec. 4, 6:40 p.m. ET:

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A United Nations vehicle carrying radioactive materials was stolen in Mexico Monday while traveling to a radioactive waste storage center from the northern city of Tijuana.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has said the truck was carrying cobalt 60, which is used as part of radiotherapy cancer treatments. The heist happened in Tepojaco, and the IAEA said the substance is “extremely dangerous” if removed from its protective shielding or damaged.

The truck was found later on Wednesday close to the place where it was stolen in Mexico, said the Director of the National Commission of Nuclear Safety and Safeguards Juan Eibenschutz. He said the container the truck was carrying was empty.

Eibenschutz said about a half-mile from where the stolen truck was found the cobalt 60 was discovered. He also said there is no risk so far to the surrounding population.

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These images released Wednesday show machinery and cargo that were part of a stolen truck hauling medical equipment with extremely dangerous radioactive material in Mexico.

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A map shows where the truck was traveling from and where it was later stolen.


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Cate Sevilla is the UK managing editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
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Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.
Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at

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