Radioactive leak at Delhi airport, NDRF says nothing to panic (Third Lead)

New Delhi, Oct 9 (IANS) A radioactive substance leaked at the international airport here on Sunday from a medical shipment flown from France but authorities later said there was nothing to panic.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Sanjay Bhatia quoted the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) as saying that the radioactivity following the leak was within permissible limits.

No one at the airport was affected, officials said.

The NDRF, the Department of Atomic Energy, the Delhi Fire Service and security agencies rushed to the Indira Gandhi International Airport following reports that a radioactive substance had leaked at the cargo terminal.

Delhi Police received the first call around 10.25 a.m.

“Six packets containing solid sodium molybdate had arrived from Paris by (Air France) flight AF226. The consignment was meant for the cargo terminal but was mistakenly placed in an area meant for courier packets,” Bhatia told IANS.

The officer said the consignee was identified as Dhitee Biotech India Pvt Ltd, located in Okhla industrial area in south Delhi.

“The NDRF, DAE and other agencies reached the spot… No injury or any problems to any human has been observed so far,” the officer said.

“The NDRF has confirmed that radioactivity is within the permissible limits,” he added.

Police and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) cordoned off the area.

The Delhi Fire Services earlier identified the substance as Molybdenum-99.

The Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), however, said there was no radioactive leak at the Airport. DIAL is a GMR Group-led consortium which manages and operates the airport.

Meanwhile, Air France confirmed that a shipment of the radioactive material was brought on its flight from Paris to New Delhi.

“The shipment of the radioactive medical material on flight AF226 operated by an A330 from Paris to New Delhi on October 8 did not reveal any anomaly. After several controls by the relevant authorities, including India’s independent nuclear energy authorities, at its arrival at the New Delhi airport, its acceptation has been confirmed compliant.

“The transport of this type of material is subject to strict rules and carried out in accordance with the international regulations. Air France reminds that the security of its customers and crews is its top priority,” an airline statement said.

–IANS

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