AP

Australia mining company sorry for losing radioactive device

Jan 29, 2023, 3:27 AM | Updated: Feb 2, 2023, 10:00 am

In this photo provided by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, its members search for a r...

In this photo provided by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, its members search for a radioactive capsule believed to have fallen off a truck being transported on a freight route on the outskirts of Perth, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023. A mining corporation on Sunday apologized for losing the highly radioactive capsule over a 1,400-kilometer (870-mile) stretch of Western Australia, as authorities combed parts of the road looking for the tiny but dangerous substance. (Department of Fire and Emergency Services via AP)

(Department of Fire and Emergency Services via AP)

PERTH, Australia (AP) — A mining corporation apologized for losing a highly radioactive capsule over a 1,400-kilometer (870-mile) stretch of Western Australia, as authorities combed parts of the road looking for the tiny but dangerous substance.

The capsule was part of a device believed to have fallen off a truck while being transported between a desert mine site and the city of Perth on Jan. 10.

The truck transporting the capsule arrived at a Perth depot on Jan. 16. Emergency services were notified of the missing capsule on Jan. 25.

Western Australia emergency services have called on other Australian states and the federal government for support finding the capsule as they lack equipment. The capsule measures 8 millimeters by 6 millimeters (0.31 inches by 0.24 inches), and people have been warned it could have unknowingly become lodged in their car’s tires.

The caesium 137 ceramic source, commonly used in radiation gauges, emits dangerous amounts of radiation, equivalent of receiving 10 X-rays in an hour. It could cause skin burns and prolonged exposure could cause cancer.

The chief executive of the mining giant Rio Tinto Iron Ore, Simon Trott, on Sunday said the company was taking the incident very seriously and apologized for causing public concern.

“We recognize this is clearly very concerning and are sorry for the alarm it has caused in the Western Australian community,” Trott said. “As well as fully supporting the relevant authorities, we have launched our own investigation to understand how the capsule was lost in transit.”

The search has involved people scanning for radiation levels from the device along roads used by the trucks, with authorities indicating the entire 1,400-kilometer (870-mile) route might have to be searched.

Western Australia’s Department of Fire and Emergency Services publicly announced the capsule had gone missing on Friday, two days after they were notified by Rio Tinto.

Trott said the contractor was qualified to transport the device and it had been confirmed being on board the truck by a Geiger counter prior to leaving the mine.

Police determined the incident to be an accident and no criminal charges are likely.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

American Airlines put an unspecified number of employees on leave for their involvement in an incid...

Associated Press

American Airlines CEO calls removal of Black passengers from Phoenix flight ‘unacceptable’

American Airlines put an unspecified number of employees on leave for their involvement in an incident in which several Black passengers were removed from a flight in Phoenix.

2 days ago

FILE - Crystal Baziel holds the Pan-African flag Monday, June 19, 2023, during Reedy Chapel A.M.E C...

Associated Press

The beginner’s guide to celebrating Juneteenth

For more than one-and-a-half centuries, the Juneteenth holiday has been sacred to many Black communities. It marks the day in 1865 enslaved people in Galveston, Texas found out they had been freed — after the end of the Civil War, and two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Since it was designated a federal […]

4 days ago

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch ro...

Associated Press

Plane that did ‘Dutch roll’ on flight from Phoenix suffered structural damage, investigators say

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch roll” during a flight from Phoenix last month.

8 days ago

This photo provided by Randy Shannon shows Mooney Falls on the Havasupai reservation outside the vi...

Associated Press

Dozens report illness after trips to waterfalls near Grand Canyon

Dozens of hikers say they fell ill during trips to a popular Arizona tourist destination that features towering blue-green waterfalls deep in a gorge neighboring Grand Canyon National Park.

9 days ago

Mugshot of Rudy Giuliani, who was processed Monday, June 10, 2024, in the Arizona fake electors cas...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani posts $10K cash bond after being processed in Arizona fake electors case

Rudy Giuliani, a former New York City mayor and Donald Trump attorney, was processed Monday in the Arizona fake electors case.

12 days ago

FILE - White House former chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters at the White House, Wed...

Associated Press

Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows pleads not guilty in Arizona fake elector case

Former Donald Trump presidential chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump 2020 Election Day operations director Michael Roman pleaded not guilty Friday in Phoenix to nine felony charges for their roles in an effort to overturn Trump's Arizona election loss to Joe Biden.

15 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Australia mining company sorry for losing radioactive device