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Times of India
09 April 2010
New Delhi, India

Four persons suffered burn injuries and severe rashes after being exposed to suspected radioactive waste inside a scrap dealer’s shop in the Mayapuri area of west Delhi on Thursday night, said police. All four have been admitted to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), with two of them reported to be critical.

The waste is suspected to have come from a city hospital.
Police said the skin of two of the victims had turned black after exposure to the waste. The victims, apart from burn injuries, had rashes all over their bodies. Police said the reaction had not been immediate and that the victims had been exposed to the waste over the past few days. “All four affected had been sleeping in the room where the medical waste had been stored. They showed allergic reactions and started vomiting when exposed to the radioactive substance. We have cordoned off the area around the scrap dealer’s shop as a precautionary measure,” said DCP (west) Sharad Agarwal.

Police said the incident was reported around 8.30 pm on Thursday from Mayapuri Phase–II. All four victims were rushed to AIIMS where they have been admitted. Preliminary investigations revealed that the waste had come from a city hospital. A team of experts has been sent to the shop from where the incident was reported. “We have seized the waste and sent it for further examination. We are taking the help of experts and researchers to understand what caused the radiation,” added DCP Agarwal.

The shop is located in a congested locality and police suspect more people might have been affected. Eyewitness said they heard sounds coming from the shop. When they rushed in, they found four persons lying on the floor. They informed the police, after which all four were taken to hospital.

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