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Cobalt-60 still sitting in Mexican cornfield

10:17 PM, Dec 10, 2013   |    comments
This image released Wednesday Dec. 4, 2013 by the National Commission on Nuclear Safety and Safeguards of Mexico's Energy Secretary (CNSNS) shows a piece of machinery that is part of the cargo of a stolen truck hauling medical equipment with extremely dangerous radioactive material, in Tepojaco, Hidalgo state, north of Mexico City. (AP Photo/CNSNS)
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MEXICO CITY (AP) - A Mexican official says a shipment of radioactive cobalt-60 is still sitting in the cornfield where it was found a week ago after being abandoned by thieves.

Nuclear safety director Juan Eibenschutz says a robot brought in to pick up the material and deposit it in a safe container hasn't been able to reach the cobalt. He says bales of corn stalks have blocked the way and workers are still clearing a path.

The cobalt-60 was being transported by a truck that was stolen early Dec. 2. The thieves dumped the material in the field about a kilometer (a half a mile) from Hueypoxtla, an agricultural town of about 4,000 people.

A judge has ordered five people held for 40 days under a form of house arrest pending possible charges.

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