Monday, April 12, 2010

1 critical among 5 affected by radioactive radiation

New Delhi, Apr 9 (UNI) Condition of the scrap dealer, who along with other four others was exposed to radioactive material in Mayapuri area of west Delhi, is stated to be critical due to deficiency of blood cells.

The scrap dealer, Deepak Jain, was admitted to Apollo Hospital after he was exposed to radiation from Cobalt-60 that was kept at his shop, hospital officials said today.

They stated that Mr Jain's bone marrow was significantly suppressed leading to reduced blood cells.

''He is presently in the ICU and a multi disciplinary team of doctors is monitoring his progress. His condition is serious,'' an official said.

Panic had gripped Mayapuri Industrial area last night when after coming in contact with the material, Jain and four of his employees showed allergic reactions and started vomiting. The skins of two of them turned completely black. They also had burn injuries and rashes all over their bodies, a senior police official said.

He said a team of experts was sent to the incident site last night and this morning, who collected and isolated the ''mysterious shining object'' from the shop in the congested industrial area and sent it for further investigations.

''The team included scientists from the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and Narora Atomic Power Station (NAPS). They have identified the material as Cobalt-60,'' the official noted.

Cobalt-60 is a radioactive isotope of Cobalt, which is a hard, lustrous and grey metal. It is used in making colours and pigments for jewellery and paints.

The experts scanned the whole area also to check if there was any other source of radiation emission in the vicinity.

After the incident had come to light, police cordoned off the area around the shop as a precautionary measure.

All the injured were sent to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Reportedly, the scrap material was brought from a city hospital and was kept in an almirah inside the shop.

Police suspect that more people residing or working in that area could have been affected.

Investigations into the incident were on.

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