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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: Odds are they are not dead
By ianweck on 12/5/2013 6:29:34 PM , Rating: 2
The tenth thickness for gammas is 2" of lead, 4" of steel if I recall correctly. Probably wouldn't need a meter of lead for adequate shielding.

RE: Odds are they are not dead
By V-Money on 12/5/2013 9:02:15 PM , Rating: 2
You are correct, 2" for lead, 4" for steel, and 24" for water or poly. Alphas are stopped by your skin and betas can be stopped by a piece of paper. In the end it has to do with the source radiation and time/distance/shielding. Without knowing how radioactive the source was we cant really make any determinations unless they managed to ingest some of it for some stupid reason (or make a necklace out of it).

RE: Odds are they are not dead
By DennisB on 12/6/2013 2:44:17 PM , Rating: 2
Shielding before replacement has to be at least
this gives 15 cm lead or 37.5 cm steel or 270 cm water.

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