One more suspected source of radiation has been detected in the sprawling scrap market at Mayapuri here in the Capital where two scrap dealers and five workers were taken ill this past week after being exposed to Cobalt-60 radioactive isotope.
Confirming this, B. Bhattacharjee, Member of the National Disaster Management Authority and former Director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, said on Tuesday: “We were informed about the detection of another radiation source today [Tuesday].”
A team conducting a survey in the area recorded readings on a radiation detection instrument during the day and the authorities concerned were alerted.
“A team comprising four experts from BARC and one from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board is coming to the Capital from Mumbai. The team is scheduled to arrive here on Tuesday night,” said Mr. Bhattacharjee, adding that 15 members of the NDMA were ready to join the operation.
The team would visit the spot late on Tuesday night or on Wednesday morning to carry out a search for the suspected source of radiation.
Meanwhile, another person showing symptoms of exposure to radiation has been admitted to the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences here.
According to the police, the victim has been identified as 28-year-old Babloo. He worked in a scrap shop near the one owned by Deepak Jain, who is now admitted to Indraprastha Apollo Hospital here in a serious condition.
Deepak's friend Himanshu Jain and four workers, Ram Jeevan, Ram Kalap, Rajender and Gorakh, are also undergoing treatment at AIIMS.
Drop in immunity
“All the five patients admitted with us may be at high risk of infection because of sudden drop of immunity. They have been admitted to an isolated sterile wing of the medical ward. All patients have shown evidence of bone marrow suppression and have been given Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor to boost their white blood cell counts. They are also being administered antibiotics for control of infection,'' said an AIIMS release on Tuesday.
The level of probable radiation exposure to individual patients is being assessed by BARC through blood samples.
Earlier on April 9, experts had removed eight bunches of metal scrap containing sources of Cobalt-60 from Deepak's shop. The material was transported to the Narora Atomic Power Station for segregation and further analysis.