The officials of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and other regulatory bodies visited the Mayapuri scrap yard again on Sunday to trace any other possible source of radioactive material—Cobalt 60—left in the area.
The exposure to the radioactive material has left eight people critically ill.
“There are around 800 shops in the area and this was a precautionary step to ensure no other shop has a radioactive material stored even unknowingly. There is a huge amount of scrap stacked in shops and the material could be lying anywhere underneath the stack,” said B.B. Bhattacharjee, member, NDMA.
Apart from NDMA the officials of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board and scientists from Bhabha Atomic Research Agency (BARC) also scoured the shops in Mayapuri.
Police said they have sent the blood samples of six policemen including the area Station House Officer (SHO) to ensure they were not exposed to any kind of radiation while on duty.
“As a precautionary measure the blood samples of policemen have been sent. The report would be available in two-three days,” said Sharad Aggarwal, deputy commissioner of police (west).
The AERB officials were tracing the origins of the Cobalt-60. “The AERB is collecting the list of all the places including hospitals and research laboratories where the radioactive material could have been produced. They have sought details from all over the country,” said a senior police officer.
Police said there investigations are stuck as all the persons who would have given them information about the radioactive material are admitted in hospital in isolation wards.
“We cannot ask them about the source of the material as no one is allowed to go there. We are trying all our sources to know where the scrap came from,” said the officer.
Police said the experts have not informed them of any new source of radioactive material in the area but as a precautionary measure all the shops in the lane where Cobalt 60 had been stored by scrapdealer Deepak Jain will remain shut. Jain, the owner of the two shops where Cobalt 60 was found, is battling for his life after suffering from radiation exposure.