Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sisters find radioactive rocks while cleaning father's attic - 23rd July 2011

Two sisters cleaning out their elderly father's house about noon today could have used a hand from Superman when they came across a box of apparently radioactive rocks.

However, the Indianapolis Fire Department's hazardous materials team saved the day, and no one was injured.

The sisters, Anita Cohee, 56, and Diane Serban, 58, were going through some of their father's things in the attic of his home in the 5500 block of Skyridge Drive when they found a small box labeled "radioactive ore, according to a news release from IFD spokeswoman Rita Burris.

The box also included the notation "Uranium Thorium/Detection Corporation North Hollywood California." Inside the box, the sisters found nine plastic-wrapped rocks in layers of cotton.

They closed the box, got everyone out of the house and called 911.

Firefighters and Haz Mat Team 13 arrived and got a positive reading for radiation. A second reading with a different kind of meter, gave them a reading of 13 microrems. Burris said the haz-mat team said that was a small amount of radioactive material -- about 1/100,000th of one rem.

Still, they packed the rocks into an official yellow drum and removed it from the house. It will be turned it over to the Marion County Health Department for proper disposal.

Firefighters spent about 50 minutes at the scene and the family was allowed to go back into the house. Read More