Mexico's public-health scare turned into a logistical hurdle Thursday as authorities sought to safely put a stolen load of radioactive material back into its container.
As officials worked on the material, federal police and soldiers formed a cordon of several hundred yards around the field in Hueypoxtla where a container of highly radioactive cobalt-60 was abandoned after it was stolen from truck drivers transporting it to a storage facility in central Mexico. [...]
The drivers of the cargo truck were sleeping at a gas station this week when gunmen assaulted them and stole their truck. Mexican nuclear safety officials said they believed the carjackers did not know what they were stealing and that they may die from exposure to the radioactive material.
The IAEA said in its statement that it "would probably be fatal to be close to this amount of unshielded radioactive material for a period in the range of a few minutes to an hour." It is unclear how long the material was handled by the carjackers or others who found it later.
In the immortal words of J. Frank Parnell: "Oh... You don't wanna look in the trunk."