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Delhi market cleared of radioactive material
New Delhi, April 9 (IANS):
Published on 9 Apr. 2010 11:34 PM IST
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Scientists of the Department of Atomic Energy Friday cleared a Delhi scrap market of radioactive material after 12 hours of investigation and search, and sanitised five shops after four people were taken ill due to the radiation.
The Department of Atomic Energy searched the radioactive contaminated site in west Delhi’s Mayapuri area throughout Thursday night and till Friday forenoon. They found several pieces of the radioactive material in the area.
“The material was removed and packed in a shielded container. The radiation level in the area has come down to normal level. The road cordons have been removed,” said an official.
“The scrap shop where the radioactive material was kept was found to have a high radiation field. Four nearby shops also indicated high radiation field,” the official added.
Experts reported that the radioactive substance is Cobalt-60.
Four people suffered burn-like injuries after coming in contact with the radioactive material in the scrap market in Mayapuri area Thursday. Earlier, the scrap dealer Deepak Jain also suffered burns and is battling for life at the Indraprashtha Apollo Hospital.
Jain was admitted to the hospital April 4 and “his bone marrow is significantly suppressed”, a hospital bulletin said Friday.
“His condition continues to be serious,” it added.
“Currently, he is in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and a multidisciplinary team of doctors is monitoring his progress,” the hospital said.
Jain’s body turned black when he touched the material, according to eyewitnesses. Scientists from the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, arrived in the capital Friday to probe the incident.
The material was isolated and the area cordoned off. The prime minister and the home ministry were subsequently informed.
“Around half a kilometre of the area has been sealed as a precautionary measure, but the public has not been evacuated from the area,” Joint Commissioner of Police Ajai Kashyap said.
Police were trying to ascertain the source of the radioactive material, said deputy commissioner of police (west) Sharad Aggarwal.
The incident came to light yesterday when Jain, the scrap dealer who suffered serious burn injuries, was yesterday rushed to Apollo Hospital which informed the government that he had suffered radiation, officials said.

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