A missing shipment of radioactive cobalt—60 was found on Wednesday near where the stolen truck transporting the material was abandoned in central Mexico, the country’s nuclear safety director said.

The highly radioactive material had been removed from its container, officials said, and one predicted that anyone involved in opening the box could be in grave danger of dying within days.

The cobalt-60 was left in a rural area about a kilometer from Hueypoxtla, an agricultural town of about 4,000 people, but it posed no threat or a need for an evacuation, said an official.

A physicist said it was the first time cobalt-60 had been stolen and extracted from its container. The only threat was to whoever opened the box and later discarded the pellets of the high-intensity radioactive material.

More In: International | News