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Two workers exposed to high radiation

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Two workers exposed to high radiation
Destruction is seen in the wake of last week's 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami in Ofunato, Iwate prefecture, Japan, on March 17, 2011. UPI/Keizo Mori | License Photo

TOKYO, March 24 (UPI) -- Two workers laying cable at Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant Thursday were exposed to high-level radiation and hospitalized, officials said.

Japan's nuclear safety agency and plant operator Tokyo Electric Power said the men suffered injuries to their feet, Kyodo reported. A third member of the crew was not hospitalized.

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At the hospital, the two men were diagnosed as having sustained beta ray burn injuries, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said. They will be transferred to the National Institute of Radiological Sciences.

The three workers were exposed to radiation between 173-180 millisieverts (the measurement of radiation received by people) while laying cable at the No. 3 reactor's turbine building, officials said.

The level is lower than the maximum limit of 250 millisievert per year set for workers tackling the emergency situation at the Fukushima plant caused by the recent 9-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

The two men who were hospitalized had their feet under water while working, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. officials said radioactive water may have seeped through the workers' protective gear.

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