Skip to content
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(AP)   This PSA is for the guys in Mexico who stole a truck, found it was full of nothing but worthless pellets and abandoned it: That was Cobalt-60 and you've got three days to live   (hosted.ap.org) divider line
    More: Followup, PSA, trucks, nuclear safety, National Commission, Mexico City  
•       •       •

14283 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Dec 2013 at 8:45 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



205 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | » | Newest | Show all

 
2013-12-05 08:36:30 AM  
You'd think these guys would be smart enough to read warning placards and stay away. Then again, it's Mexico, so who knows how they ships stuff down there.

There are a host of really bad cobalt-60 accidents from when stupid people didn't look after their radiation sources (mainly decommissioned medical equipment). The stuff gets blended into the scrap metal recycling process and they end up building a bunch of irradiated buildings or tables or something. The people who find the stuff and salvage it usually kill themselves and a number of friend or family members.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-12-05 08:43:46 AM  
There are people in Mexico who can't read and never went to school.  Hell, there are people who don't speak Spanish in some of the more remote parts of Mexico.

They might not have known what they had until they heard about on the radio.
 
2013-12-05 08:46:37 AM  
They had to have been tipped off when they glowed in the dark.
 
2013-12-05 08:46:52 AM  
Did the shipping container have one of these on the side of it?

ken_ashford.typepad.comView Full Size


If it did, then they are stupid and will pay the price for their stupidity.  If not, well, that's pretty reckless.
 
2013-12-05 08:48:41 AM  
I just heard this on NPR as I drove into work.

Spilled my coffee, I was laughing so hard.
 
2013-12-05 08:49:28 AM  
I'm more concerned that a significant amount of Cobalt-60 was just lying around in an unoccupied truck.

If some random dude can swipe it, I shudder to think what someone with resources and a plan could do.
 
2013-12-05 08:50:06 AM  

Fubini: You'd think these guys would be smart enough to read warning placards and stay away. Then again, it's Mexico, so who knows how they ships stuff down there.


Apparently they ship radioactive waste without any sort of security in place at all, not even GPS tracking on the trucks.
 
2013-12-05 08:51:57 AM  
Last night the national news led off with this story, and pointed out how "OMG Cobalt-60 could be used in a dirty bomb". My thought was "yeah but only if the idiots assemble it really fast, because they'll be dead before it's used otherwise". Last night's story also said "some" of the Cobalt-60 was recovered; did the fools actually break into the medical equipment or did they really mean they recovered some of the equipment itself?

/DNRTFA
 
2013-12-05 08:53:12 AM  

jakomo002: I'm more concerned that a significant amount of Cobalt-60 was just lying around in an unoccupied truck.

If some random dude can swipe it, I shudder to think what someone with resources and a plan could do.



No shiat.  Maybe they need way better tracking, security, and less siesta-prone drivers.
 
2013-12-05 08:53:29 AM  
Anybody seen info on the activity (in Curies or Becquerels)?
 
2013-12-05 08:53:49 AM  

vpb: There are people in Mexico who can't read and never went to school.  Hell, there are people who don't speak Spanish in some of the more remote parts of Mexico.

They might not have known what they had until they heard about on the radio.


If you're stealing a truck near Tijuana, you're probably not some jungle-dwelling tribesman from a remote part of Mexico. Illiterate, possibly, but not from somewhere so remote that the warning symbol up there means nothing to you.

Live by the sword, die by the sword.
 
2013-12-05 08:54:10 AM  
Came for the "haha" guy from the simpsons,

/left disappointed.
 
2013-12-05 08:54:25 AM  
Man.  Instant karma.  .... Ok, more like karma on a 72-hour delay, but still.
 
2013-12-05 08:56:55 AM  

Fubini: You'd think these guys would be smart enough to read warning placards and stay away.


As soon as one of those placards work, idiots are going to paste them all over everything.  And then they'll be ignored.

"¡Precaución! El pollo es radiactivo!"
 
2013-12-05 08:57:09 AM  
Crime doesn't pay, unless you want to save on haircuts for a while.

nocturnar.comView Full Size
 
2013-12-05 08:57:49 AM  
I'm sure they were blue when they discovered the cargo, and then really blue a couple days later.
 
2013-12-05 08:58:07 AM  

Bit'O'Gristle: Came for the "haha" guy from the simpsons,

/left disappointed.


So post it yourself you lazy fark and look as clever as you thought someone else would, instead of whining about it and looking like a little biatch.
 
2013-12-05 08:58:09 AM  

jakomo002: I'm more concerned that a significant amount of Cobalt-60 was just lying around in an unoccupied truck.

If some random dude can swipe it, I shudder to think what someone with resources and a plan could do.


While I do agree the lax security is a serious problem, someone with the resources and know-how probably wouldn't touch the stuff.
Terrorists usuallyshy away from chemical or radioactive weapons because they can be difficult to handle and unpredictable.

Yes it would grab alot of headlines if they set off a dirty bomb, but there's a greater chance they'll end up dying from organ failure like these idiots.
 
2013-12-05 08:58:15 AM  
Goiânia accident


On September 16, Alves succeeded in puncturing the capsule's aperture window with a screwdriver, allowing him to see a deep blue light coming from the tiny opening he had created.

He inserted the screwdriver and successfully scooped out some of the glowing substance. Thinking it was perhaps a type of, he tried to light it, but the powder would not ignite. The exact mechanism by which the light was generated was not known at the time the IAEA report was written, though it was thought to be either or associated with the absorption of moisture by the source; similar blue light was observed in 1988 at during the disencapsulation of a  137Cs source.

encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.comView Full Size



Thinking the capsule's contents were either valuable or even supernatural, he immediately brought it into his house. Over the next three days, he invited friends and family to view the strange glowing substance and offered a reward to anyone who could free it from the capsule. He mentioned that he intended to make a ring out of it for his wife, Gabriela Maria Ferreira. On September 21 at the scrapyard, a friend of Ferreira's (given as EF1 in the IAEA report) succeeded in freeing several rice-sized grains of the glowing material from the capsule using a screwdriver. He shared some of these with his brother, claimed some for himself, and the rest remained in the hands of Ferreira, who readily began to share it with various friends and family members. That same day, his wife, 37-year-old Gabriela Maria Ferreira, began to fall ill.
 
2013-12-05 08:58:18 AM  

xanadian: Man.  Instant karma.  .... Ok, more like karma on a 72-hour delay, but still.


That's along the same lines I was thinking.  Just a few days, we'll all know who did it, because they'll turn up dying in a spectacularly gruesome way.  But since they abandoned it, they may linger a few days longer, with more suffering.
 
2013-12-05 08:58:54 AM  
What are the odds it was a professional job and the guys knew what it was and had the proper hazmat suits and did not get exposed?
 
2013-12-05 08:59:41 AM  
How do you say "The Toxic Avenger" in Mexican?
 
2013-12-05 09:01:28 AM  

ltdanman44: Goiânia accident


The single greatest part about what caused this whole event:

On September 13, 1987, the guard in charge of daytime security, Voudireinão da Silva, did not show up to work, using a sick day to attend a cinema screening of Herbie Goes Bananas with his family.
 
2013-12-05 09:02:31 AM  

dpaul007: I just heard this on NPR as I drove into work.

Spilled my coffee, I was laughing so hard.


The Gospel sayeth: "Let he who has never stolen a truck filled with cobalt-60 cast the first stone."
 
2013-12-05 09:02:32 AM  
This is the same back story for the Mexican superhero Cobaltacabra.
 
2013-12-05 09:02:50 AM  

way south: While I do agree the lax security is a serious problem, someone with the resources and know-how probably wouldn't touch the stuff.
Terrorists usuallyshy away from chemical or radioactive weapons because they can be difficult to handle and unpredictable.

Yes it would grab alot of headlines if they set off a dirty bomb, but there's a greater chance they'll end up dying from organ failure like these idiots.


I'd imagine there's probably a lot of money to be made by selling it to some crazy farks somewhere.  Islamist terrorists, Syrian rebels, Fred Phelps, etc.   Transport would be a problem but so is drugs, arms, and slaves.
 
2013-12-05 09:03:24 AM  
cdn-s3.orlandocity.comView Full Size


Picture of said thieves.
 
2013-12-05 09:06:56 AM  
Reminds me of the Goiânia accident:

The Goiânia accident was a radioactive contamination accident that occurred on September 13, 1987, at Goiânia, in the Brazilian state of Goiás, after an old radiotherapy source was stolen from an abandoned hospital site in the city. It was subsequently handled by many people, resulting in four deaths. About 112,000 people were examined for radioactive contamination and 249 were found to have significant levels of radioactive material in or on their body.[1][2] In the cleanup operation, topsoil had to be removed from several sites, and several houses were demolished. All the objects from within those houses were removed and examined. Time magazine has identified the accident as one of the world's "worst nuclear disasters" and the International Atomic Energy Agency called it "one of the world's worst radiological incidents"
 
2013-12-05 09:07:52 AM  

ltdanman44: Goiânia accident


I hadn't heard of that so I had to google it, gotta love how the source was stolen:
On September 13, 1987, the guard in charge of daytime security, Voudireinão da Silva, did not show up to work, using a sick day to attend a cinema screening of Herbie Goes Bananas...
 
2013-12-05 09:09:00 AM  
Oh, and of course, I get to use my usual stance for Farked articles:

What a bunch of farking dipshiats.
 
2013-12-05 09:11:07 AM  

SlothB77: What are the odds it was a professional job and the guys knew what it was and had the proper hazmat suits and did not get exposed?


Gamma radiation laughs at your hazmat suits.
 
2013-12-05 09:14:27 AM  

Bendal: Last night the national news led off with this story, and pointed out how "OMG Cobalt-60 could be used in a dirty bomb". My thought was "yeah but only if the idiots assemble it really fast, because they'll be dead before it's used otherwise". Last night's story also said "some" of the Cobalt-60 was recovered; did the fools actually break into the medical equipment or did they really mean they recovered some of the equipment itself?

/DNRTFA


I think it really depends on where you hear the news.
The first time I heard of it, much emphasis was put on the fact that Cobalt-60 is not to be confused with typical bomb making stuff like uranium or plutonium.  Then later in the day, I heard another report that it's very possible that terrorists purposefully stole the substance with the intention of making a WMD.

Now I think they have finally settled on, "These guys clearly had NO idea what they had stolen until it was too late.  And, btw, it's barely dangerous unless you walk up and start playing with it."
 
2013-12-05 09:14:51 AM  
LOL MEXICO ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 
2013-12-05 09:16:14 AM  

ltdanman44: Goiânia accident


Very interesting, thanks for posting. Hadn't ever heard of it, which surprised me since I'm fascinated by this type of thing.
 
2013-12-05 09:16:22 AM  
i.chzbgr.comView Full Size
 
2013-12-05 09:18:09 AM  

vpb: They might not have known what they had until they heard about on the radio.


Was it a
Mexican Radio?
 
2013-12-05 09:19:53 AM  

Feel_the_velvet: dpaul007: I just heard this on NPR as I drove into work.

Spilled my coffee, I was laughing so hard.

The Gospel sayeth: "Let he who has never stolen a truck filled with cobalt-60 cast the first stone."


uzar.files.wordpress.comView Full Size
 
2013-12-05 09:21:03 AM  

jakomo002: I'm more concerned that a significant amount of Cobalt-60 was just lying around in an unoccupied truck.

If some random dude can swipe it, I shudder to think what someone with resources and a plan could do.


TFA:
The driver, Valentin Escamilla Ortiz, told authorities he was sleeping in the truck when two men with a gun approached him. They made him get out, tied his hands and feet and left him in a vacant lot nearby.
When he was able to free himself, he ran back to the gas station to get help.
Eibenschutz said the transport company did not follow proper procedures and should have had GPS and security with the truck.
 
2013-12-05 09:22:22 AM  

rwfan: SlothB77: What are the odds it was a professional job and the guys knew what it was and had the proper hazmat suits and did not get exposed?

Gamma radiation laughs at your hazmat suits.


Is there a radiation suit you can wear to prevent exposure or no?
 
2013-12-05 09:22:35 AM  

jakomo002: way south: While I do agree the lax security is a serious problem, someone with the resources and know-how probably wouldn't touch the stuff.
Terrorists usuallyshy away from chemical or radioactive weapons because they can be difficult to handle and unpredictable.

Yes it would grab alot of headlines if they set off a dirty bomb, but there's a greater chance they'll end up dying from organ failure like these idiots.

I'd imagine there's probably a lot of money to be made by selling it to some crazy farks somewhere.  Islamist terrorists, Syrian rebels, Fred Phelps, etc.   Transport would be a problem but so is drugs, arms, and slaves.


True, but if you don't know what you have then you don't know how to transport it safely or who wants it.

If you've got a gun or a bomb, you can store it for years without much danger to yourself. Plenty of time to find a buyer or figure out how best to smuggle it.   Most people know how to not-kill themselves with a standard weapon.

With something exotic, things get strange.
Just opening the container just to figure out what you've stolen can be a death sentence.
 
2013-12-05 09:27:06 AM  

way south: True, but if you don't know what you have then you don't know how to transport it safely or who wants it.

If you've got a gun or a bomb, you can store it for years without much danger to yourself. Plenty of time to find a buyer or figure out how best to smuggle it.   Most people know how to not-kill themselves with a standard weapon.

With something exotic, things get strange.
Just opening the container just to figure out what you've stolen can be a death sentence.


The kingpins/bosses wouldn't sweat the deaths of some peons.  They'd see uses for it I'm sure, if just to get it away.


chewd: TFA:
The driver, Valentin Escamilla Ortiz, told authorities he was sleeping in the truck when two men with a gun approached him. They made him get out, tied his hands and feet and left him in a vacant lot nearby.
When he was able to free himself, he ran back to the gas station to get help.
Eibenschutz said the transport company did not follow proper procedures and should have had GPS and security with the truck.


I stand corrected.  Still pretty bush league security.
 
2013-12-05 09:34:29 AM  
Self correcting problem?

I seem to recall in the cold war era Soviet days, some Ruskies found some highly radioactive stuff abandoned somewhere. They figured it might be valuable so they decided to take it. They had to clear a checkpoint and they didn't want the guards seeing the shielded containers, so they took the material out of the containers and stuck it in their pockets. It worked out about as well as you can imagine
 
2013-12-05 09:42:06 AM  
Why did they keep the container and throw away the Cobalt 60?
Discarding the Co60 with its container would have been the safe and obvious thing to do.
 
2013-12-05 09:42:26 AM  

SlothB77: rwfan: SlothB77: What are the odds it was a professional job and the guys knew what it was and had the proper hazmat suits and did not get exposed?

Gamma radiation laughs at your hazmat suits.

Is there a radiation suit you can wear to prevent exposure or no?


Not from gamma or high energy neutrons.
 
2013-12-05 09:42:48 AM  
Rodriguez Brothers stole a 1967 Malibu.
I ate sushi and didn't pay.
 
2013-12-05 09:45:17 AM  
As long as it wasnt cobalt thorium g...

moviegoings.files.wordpress.comView Full Size
 
2013-12-05 09:45:35 AM  

On-Off: Why did they keep the container and throw away the Cobalt 60?
Discarding the Co60 with its container would have been the safe and obvious thing to do.


Probably due to lack of warning signs.  They had no idea what they had, probably still dont.   The container would appear to be more valuable than a bunch of dusty crap looking pellets, the container is probably high grade steel and lead.  Some time after opening they may think they are coming down with a very serious flu, fast.  Within a day or two they probably wont be thinking very clearly followed by a very miserable death.

Self correcting problem.  Be thankfull it wasnt Zetas.  They would have built a bomb and wiped out a rival drug town.
 
2013-12-05 09:46:17 AM  

SlothB77: rwfan: SlothB77: What are the odds it was a professional job and the guys knew what it was and had the proper hazmat suits and did not get exposed?

Gamma radiation laughs at your hazmat suits.

Is there a radiation suit you can wear to prevent exposure or no?


Nope. CBRN/MOPP gear only protects you from internalizing radionuclides (ie. inhaling or ingesting them) or skin contact issues (beta burns, etc). Gamma emitters, especially ones like Co-60 which is in the 1.3MeV range, penetrate anything except lots of lead and concrete. Only safe way to handle the stuff is either remotely (by robot or from a very long distance to lessen direct exposure via inverse square law) or with a big lead shield in front of you
 
2013-12-05 09:47:15 AM  
rudebadmood.comView Full Size


Radiation badges?
We don't need no stinking radiation badges.
 
2013-12-05 09:48:02 AM  

orclover:  Some time after opening they may think they are coming down with a very serious flu, fast.  Within a day or two they probably wont be thinking very clearly followed by a very miserable death.


Burns and open wounds will show up first if they were that close.
 
Displayed 50 of 205 comments


Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | » | Newest | Show all


View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking





On Twitter




In Other Media
Top Commented
Javascript is required to view headlines in widget.
  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report