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Cobalt-60 Radioactive substance found in Delhi scrap market in Mayapuri - 4 people injured, area cordoned off

New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) Scientists from the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, rushed to the capital Friday to probe the incident in which a radioactive substance caused burn-like injuries to four people in west Delhi, police said.

The substance was isolated and the area cordoned off. The prime minister and home ministry have been informed, they added.

Four people suffered burn-like injuries after coming in contact Thursday with the radioactive material in a scrap market in Mayapuri area.

Officials from the disaster management authority and a team of scientists from the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, were Friday flown in to probe the incident, police said.

"The experts from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre will visit the industrial area. The scientists confirmed that it was a radioactive material and they have isolated it," Ajay Kashyap, joint commissioner of police-West Delhi, told IANS.

Experts suspect that the radioactive substance is Cobalt-60. The situation was under control and no further impact on residents was likely, they added.

"Around half a kilometre of the area has been sealed as a precautionary measure, but public has not been evacuated from the area," Kashyap added.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Sharad Aggarwal said the home ministry and prime minister's office "are being kept in the loop about all developments in the case".

Even as scientists were probing the incident in which a radioactive substance caused burn-like injuries to five people in a scrap market, scrap dealer Deepak Jain was battling for his life at the Indraprashtha Apollo Hospital here.

Jain was admitted in the hospital April 4 and his bone marrow is significantly suppressed, a hospital bulletin said Friday.

"His condition continues to be serious," it added.

"Currently he is in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and a multidisciplinary team of doctors is monitoring his progress," the hospital said.

Four people suffered burn-like injuries after coming in contact with the radioactive material in the scrap market in Mayapuri area Thursday. Jain had suffered burns April 4.

His body turned black when he touched the material, according to eyewitnesses. Four other people, including three working in the shop, were also affected by the radiation.

Meanwhile, scientists from the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, rushed to the capital Friday to probe the incident.

The substance was isolated and the area cordoned off. The prime minister and the home ministry have been informed, police said.

"The experts from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre will visit the industrial area. The scientists confirmed that it was a radioactive material and they have isolated it," Ajay Kashyap, joint commissioner of police-West Delhi, told IANS.

Experts suspect that the radioactive substance is Cobalt-60. The situation was under control and no further impact on residents was likely, they added.

"Around half a kilometre of the area has been sealed as a precautionary measure, but public has not been evacuated from the area," Kashyap added.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Sharad Aggarwal said the home ministry and prime minister's office "are being kept in the loop about all developments in the case".

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