Radioactive leak at Delhi's IGI airport plugged, DGCA begins probe

New Delhi: A leak of radioactive substance, which had come from Turkey, was detected at the cargo complex of the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in New Delhi on Friday.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, while addressing a press conference here, said the leakage has been 'plugged.' A team of atomic energy department has also reached the spot, the Home Minister said.

Sources said about four packets, out of the total ten, of a yellow-coloured liquid was suspected to have spread out of its sanitised container after the consignment landed at the cargo area of the airport at about 4:35 AM after which a special squad of the National Disaster Response Force team was called in to check and contain it.

“A medical consignment of material suspected to be of radioactive nature was reported at the Cargo terminal of Delhi Airport this morning. A team from Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are at the site and making arrangements for the removal of the material. This area is far away from any of the passenger terminals and there is absolutely no risk of exposure to any passengers. The said area has been cordoned off and as per the preliminary assessment given by AMD the material has been termed as that of low radio activity- Sodium Iodide Liquid Class 7 meant for medicinal use,” DIAL Spokesperson.

NDRF chief O P Singh said a special ten-member team from its base in Dwarka has been rushed to the spot and is 'sanitising' the area. "Radioactive leak very very small. There is nothing to panic and there is no effect on the passenger area," Singh said.

Dr. Ali Genç, SVP Media Relations Turkish Airlines said, “The cargo package containing medical material and carried by Turkish Airlines’ TK716 Istanbul - Delhi flight has been examined by the official authorities in Delhi on suspicion of radioactive leak due to the wetness seen on the mentioned package.

On having informed of the mentioned situation, Turkish Airlines’s relevant cargo and technical teams have effectuated the necessary controls and radiological surveys on-board the aircraft landed back to Istanbul but no evidence has been detected. The necessary information on the incident has been made to the relevant official authorities by Turkish Airlines.”

The cargo complex has been vacated by the officials as a preventive measure. Airport officials said the material was imported for use in medical purpose by a multi-speciality hospital. The packets, containing the material, bore the markings class-II liquid and a chemical component of Sodium.

-With inputs from Neha L.M Tripathi

Cargo terminals at IGAI

Indira Gandhi International Airport has two cargo terminals.

1. Celebi Delhi Cargo Terminal Management India Private Limited – At this terminal export operations are proceeding normally and there are no restrictions at all. Import operations are temporarily halted.

2. Delhi Cargo Service Center Private Limited – At this terminal both export and import operations are proceeding uninterrupted.

All passenger operations at IGI Airport are proceeding safely and normally without any interruption.

- Spokesperson, Delhi International Airport Private Ltd

2. Delhi Cargo Service Center Private Limited – At this terminal both export and import operations are proceeding uninterrupted.

All passenger operations at IGI Airport are proceeding safely and normally without any interruption.

- Spokesperson, Delhi International Airport Private Ltd

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