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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Saturday, August 18, 2018

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International Airport in India’s capital spooked over suspected radioactive leak, shuts operations briefly

National Disaster Management Authority

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NEW DELHI, India - Following a suspected radioactive leak at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in India’s capital, New Delhi - the airport’s cargo area in Terminal 3 was evacuated and subsequently quarantined.> Big News Network

However, hours after doctors, seven fire tenders, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) team, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team and the crisis management group of the Atomic Regulatory Board (ARB) rushed to the scene - officials called off the emergency. 

Chief Fire Officer, Atul Garg said in a statement to local media, “A call was received from the airport around 10.45 am regarding suspected radioactive leak from medical equipment.”
The police stated, “The area is 1.5 km away from passenger area and was evacuated and cordoned off.”
Authorities confirmed that the leak originated from cancer medications in the cargo unit that arrived on the Air France AF 226 aircraft on Saturday night.
The consignment reportedly contained 16 packets of cancer treatment.

DCP IGI Airport said, “A PCR call regarding leakage of radioactive material at T3 cargo was reported at 10.25 am. On reaching the cargo, it was learnt that six packets containing solid sodium molybdate that arrived from Paris by flight AF 226 reached the courier side. No injury to any human has been reported so far.”

After a few hours, officials confirmed that the radiation was below the permissible limit and was 'not a leakage.’

A civil aviation ministry official added in a statement, “An inadvertently wrong radiological emergency message was conveyed. A nuclear medicine Molibdenum 99 was being brought from Air France flight on behalf of B L Kapoor Hospital, Pusa Road. The quantity of radiation emitted from the nuclear medicine is below 1 mill rongen (measurement of radiation). There is no beta radiation in the surrounding areas and there is no leakage. Hence it cannot be termed as an emergency.”

All operations at the airport have since been restored.

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