Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Mexican authorities announced yesterday that they had arrested five men suspected of stealing a truck last week that was transporting the radioactive source Cobalt-60.
According to the spokesman for Mexico's Attorney General's Office, Jose Luis Manjarrez, the five suspects will remain in custody for up to forty days while the investigation continues.
Last week, the five adults and one teenager were treated for possible radiation exposure at a hospital in Pachuca, Mexico after possible contact with radioactive Cobalt-60 that was stolen and recovered that same week. Test results were negative for radiation poisoning. The minor is not considered a suspect and is being treated as a witness to the theft.
The theft, which was announced by the IAEA, occurred a week ago as the truck was transporting the cobalt-60 teletherapy source while en route from a hospital in Tijuana to a radioactive waste storage center. The truck was recovered mid-week 25 miles away with evidence that the radioactive cargo had been opened, leading authorities to speculate that the thieves would soon seek medical treatment for possible radiation exposure.