New Delhi airport calls off emergency over radioactive leak

AP News
Posted: Oct 09, 2016 7:47 AM

NEW DELHI (AP) — A section of the cargo terminal at New Delhi's international airport was cordoned off Sunday after a suspected radioactive leak, but officials later said the radiation posed no danger to people and called off the emergency.

The leak at Indira Gandhi International Airport was suspected to have occurred from a package containing cancer medicine that had arrived as cargo on an Air France plane, said Atul Garg, New Delhi's fire chief.

Rao Narender, a duty officer at Delhi Fire Service headquarters, said a regular consignment of the nuclear medicine used in cancer treatments arrived at the airport's cargo terminal and was being processed when some workers raised concerns that it was radioactive material.

Officials declared a radiological emergency and cordoned off the area. Workers at the cargo terminal had to evacuate the building while a disaster management team investigated the nature of the radioactive material. The cargo terminal is located about 2 kilometers (1 mile) from the airport's passenger area.

A couple of hours later, District Magistrate Abhishek Singh said that the amount of radiation emitted from the medicine was "within permissible limits," and that it did not pose a danger to anyone. He said there was no radiation in the surrounding areas.

"A final call has thus been taken and the radiological emergency has been called off," Singh said in a statement.

He said the package was meant for a New Delhi hospital's cancer unit.