Five Mexican states were put on alert Sunday after a truck carrying a container of potentially dangerous radioactive material was stolen, the interior ministry said. The National Coordination of Civil Protection issued the warning after a company in the central state of Queretaro reported that a pick-up truck carrying radioactive iridium-192 had been stolen.

The ministry said the material “can be dangerous for people if not handled safely” and could cause “permanent or serious injury to a person who is handling or in contact with it for a short time”. Such damage could occur after contact lasting anywhere from minutes to hours, it added. Officials said the radioactive material represented a significant health risk if taken outside its container, but was not dangerous if kept sealed. READ MORE