Radioactive leak at Delhi airport within ‘permissible’ limits; flights unaffected

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on October 09, 2016

Fire fighters arrive at the cargo terminal of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on Sunday, after reports of suspected radioactive leak from a cancer drug consignment   -  PTI

The Delhi airport witnessed some tense moments here on Sunday after a suspected radioactive leak was reported in the cargo terminal.

The leak was reported from a shipment carrying material for cancer treatment from France and an emergency response was activated. The emergency was withdrawn after a few hours when the emission was found to be within permissible limits.

A regular consignment of 16 packets of material for cancer treatment arrived by Air France from Paris late on Saturday night, officials indicated adding that the material was for Dhiti Biotech India.

“A nuclear medicine Molibdenum 99 was being brought by Air France flight on behalf of BL Kapoor Hospital, Pusa Road. The quantity of radiation emitted from the nuclear medicine is below 1 mill rongen (measurement of radiation),” District Magistrate Abhishek Singh told agencies.

In a statement, Air France confirmed that the shipment of radioactive medical material on flight AF226 operated by an Airbus A 330 from Paris’s Charles De Gaulle airport to New Delhi on 8 October “did not reveal any anomaly”.

After several controls by the relevant authorities, including India’s independent Nuclear Energy authorities, the shipment was confirmed to be compliant. The transport of this type of material is subject to strict rules and carried out in accordance with the international regulations, the statement added.

Delhi International Airport Limited, which manages Delhi airport, in a tweet also said that there was no radioactive leak at the airport and that all flights were normal. In May last year, a similar leak from a medical consignment containing a low radioactive substance had created panic at Delhi airport although authorities claimed that the incident did not endanger passengers travelling through the airport.

Published on October 09, 2016
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