A small but radioactive capsule that went missing in the Australian outback was found Wednesday. After a frantic weeklong search along an 870-mile stretch of highway.
The deadly capsule, smaller than a coin. And believed to have fallen from a mining company truck, was discovered. On the side of a road as authorities scanned an area in California.
“Search teams have quite found a needle in a haystack,. Western Australia Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson told. A news conference on Wednesday morning.
Hailing the success after what he described as a “monumental challenge”.
The radioactive device was believed to have fallen from a truck. On January 10 during a long journey from a desert mine site near Newman to a storage facility in Perth.
Emergency services were first notified on January 25. Officials said, and alerted the public on Friday.
Officials warned against any contact with dangerous substances. And launched a relentless search for the round. And silver capsule, 6 millimeters in diameter and 8 millimeters long.
The capsule’s radioactive source, Caesium-137, emits a lethal amount of radiation. Equal to about 10 X-rays an hour, and prolonged exposure can even cause cancer. Cesium-137 takes about 30 years to decay by half.
Mining giant Rio Tinto has apologized for the loss of the iron ore radioactive device. And said it has launched an internal investigation into how the lethal. And radioactive material, used in gauges in mining operations, went missing.
After a search in the Australian outback. According to Dawson, a vehicle driven. By specialist equipment detected radiation emitted by the capsule.
They then proceed to use portable detection equipment to identify the capsule.
Western Australia’s Department of Fire and Emergency Services announced.
“The Australian Defense Force is currently verifying the capsule using its serial number,” Fire. And Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Clem told a news conference.
Dawson said agencies involved in the operation are now arranging for the safe transport of the capsule. And an investigation into why the capsule went missing is underway.
“I want to emphasize that this is an extraordinary result for West Australians and Australians,” Dawson said.
Western Australia’s chief health officer, Andrew Robertson, said.
“It appears to have fallen off the truck and landed on the side of the road. It’s remote enough that it’s not in a large community, so it’s unlikely anyone came in contact with the capsule.”