(File pix) Authorities in Mexico put several states on alert Monday after thieves stole nuclear material used in medical equipment that is dangerous if not handled properly. AP Photo

MEXICO CITY: Authorities in Mexico put several states on alert Monday after thieves stole nuclear material used in medical equipment that is dangerous if not handled properly.

The iridium was inside industrial X-ray equipment that was stolen from the back of a truck in Tlaquepaque, Jalisco state, an interior ministry statement said.

“This was industrial equipment that included Iridium-192... which can be dangerous for people if it is taken out of its container,” the statement said.

It issued a warning for Jalisco, Colima, Nayarit, Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Michoacan, San Luis Potosi, Durango and Zacatecas states.

If the material is found, authorities asked for people to stay back 30 meters (yards) and call local officials for help.

Since 2013, there have been at least seven cases of radioactive material being stolen across Mexico. So far, all the material was returned without incident. -- AFP

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