Print 57 comment(s) - last by room200.. on Dec 8 at 2:54 PM

The truck has been found by authorities

A couple of carjackers from Mexico are almost certain to win a Darwin Award for their latest (and final) crime.
A white Volkswagen truck was transporting a highly radioactive material -- cobalt-60 -- from a public hospital in the border town of Tijuana to a storage facility in central Mexico. A man and his assistant, both of whom worked for a licensed private company, drove the truck. 
The drivers arrived at their destination hours before the storage facility opened, so they waited at a gas station in the state of Hidalgo. However, two carjackers beat the drivers and stole their truck, completely oblivious to what was in the back of the vehicle. 
Mexican authorities immediately started looking across six states for the stolen vehicle while Mexico's nuclear safety group (known as CNSNS) issued a public alert. If the cobalt-60 was removed from its casing, which consisted of a wooden box that has steel edging, it could be very dangerous.
After a two-day hunt, the truck was found in a rural area near the town of Hueypoxtla, which is about 25 miles from where the vehicle was stolen. The carjackers were not with the truck, but they did manage to open the box of cobalt-60 before they left.

While the carjackers haven't been arrested yet, Mexico's nuclear safety commission believes that they are dead, or will soon be dead due to the exposure to radiation. 

“I believe, definitely, that the thieves did not know what they had; they were interested in the crane, in the vehicle,” said Mardonio Jimenez, a physicist and official with Mexico’s nuclear safety commission. "The people who handled it will have severe problems with radiation. They will, without a doubt, die.”

It was reported that radiation was detected a half-mile away from where the truck was found. The report also noted that no one lives in that area. 

Cobalt-60 is most often used in hospital radiotherapy machines.

Source: NPR

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RE: so will everyone
By Flunk on 12/5/2013 12:50:54 PM , Rating: 2
Want to place a wager on that?

RE: so will everyone
By DanNeely on 12/5/2013 12:55:31 PM , Rating: 2
So far, so good.

RE: so will everyone
By althaz on 12/5/2013 9:00:06 PM , Rating: 2
I'll take that bet. I bet you $1,000,000 I don't die. So far so good. I'll take the money now thanks.

If it turns out I'm wrong I'll return you the million and give you another.

RE: so will everyone
By Amedean on 12/6/2013 2:25:19 AM , Rating: 4
This conversation brings back old memories in my Army days when I was a infantry paratrooper in the 82d Airborne.

Back in 2003 little known but I was part of a detachment on a mission here:

because we had to recover a larger than a baseball bat sized rod of Cobalt 60. Below that small town was the former Iraqi Army chemical weapons school and depot where an unknowing villager was paid by Al-Qaeda to drag that rod to his home.

I imagine the original intention was to make a dirty bomb.... needless to say America's finest including myself had to knowingly guard this exposed rod with all the understanding that we may all die of cancer in a few years.

Had a small lump on my scalp ever since but it is non-malignant. One guy in my company got breast cancer and another a tumor on one testicle. Either way, the VA wont accept documentation for this exposure and I am left today footing the bill taking precautionary antioxidants and anti-neoplastic supplements for as many years.

There you go, the unheard sacrifices soldiers knowingly accept to protect lives...

P.S. to the south west across the road from the spot I marked on Google Maps is 3 large facilities that were industrial weapons factories which also manufactured G5 howitzers and ammunition. Yes, chemical weapons as well. It is also the site of this disaster where I used to walk through unknowingly:

RE: so will everyone
By Amedean on 12/6/2013 2:29:05 AM , Rating: 2
My appologies, the correct map link is here:

Google maps got confused...

RE: so will everyone
By sorry dog on 12/6/2013 11:07:34 AM , Rating: 2
If that's the story, then you have my gratitude for your service.

I'm curious about the V.A. situation. Can you elaborate?

RE: so will everyone
By Amedean on 12/6/2013 11:46:50 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the VA only covers conditions diagnosed during service or "proven" service connected.

Hypothetical hopefully, but if I were to develop cancer it would require a miracle of paperwork to form a service connection. Let alone, by the time the paperwork would have been finished I would probably have died. I was even advised to not mention my cobalt-60 exposure should that happen to reduce paperwork so they said to claim "excessive sun exposure" as the most probable cause.

To give you a broader perspective on the issue, I broke my wrist in Afghanistan, cracked a few bones on my feet, cronic joint pains (naturally)......sports injuries apparently. Never played sports either but I have been fighting this and the exposure issue for over 5 years.

All the process is for is to reduce legacy costs of our many years at war.

RE: so will everyone
By Noya on 12/7/2013 11:45:01 PM , Rating: 2
Don't you just love our government? Go get F'ed and you're on your own!

RE: so will everyone
By Amedean on 12/8/2013 12:50:28 AM , Rating: 2
Thank you for your concern and I understand the message, but there is more blame to share. Let's face it, one of the chief driving forces behind this is that we in America like cheap taxes while having our say in the world all the same.

Because its a volunteer military, it is easy to be disconnected. I don't think in any time in U.S. history did the country wage war and drop taxes. And at this scale, there has never been such a sustained conflict without a draft.

The reality is very few people carry the burden in today's wars.

RE: so will everyone
By room200 on 12/8/2013 2:54:03 PM , Rating: 2
Which is why I NEVER complain about taxes, You want great services? You pay what's needed to get them. We shouldn't have military without proper equipment because we want everything and don't want to pay for it.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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