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Metal box containing ‘radioactive source’ found in warehouse

PUBLISHED: 11:04 23 March 2018 | UPDATED: 12:44 23 March 2018

Emergency services at the warehouse in Whimpwell Green. Pictures: David Bale

Emergency services at the warehouse in Whimpwell Green. Pictures: David Bale

Archant

A metal box containing a “radioactive source” has been found in a warehouse on the Norfolk coast.

Emergency services at the warehouse in Whimpwell Green. Pictures: David BaleEmergency services at the warehouse in Whimpwell Green. Pictures: David Bale

Emergency services are on scene at Whimpwell Green, near Happisburgh, this morning after a hazardous substance was discovered in the area.

A fire service spokesman said a member of the public had found a sealed metal box marked with radioactive warning signs inside a warehouse.

Five fire crews and an environmental protection unit were called to the area near Cart Gap Road at around 3am to assess the object using monitors.

Police are currently on scene and a private contractor has been called to remove the item.

Emergency services are on scene at Whimpwell Green, near Happisburgh, this morning after a hazardous substance was discovered in the area. Photo: GoogleEmergency services are on scene at Whimpwell Green, near Happisburgh, this morning after a hazardous substance was discovered in the area. Photo: Google

“It was an extremely old radioactive source from 1986,” the spokesman said.

“It was sealed in a metal box and was inside a wooden crate, which had its top off.

“There were extremely low levels of radiation emitting from it, and beyond a metre [away] there was no detectable source.”

The fire service spokesman stressed that was nothing for the public to be concerned about.

“It is not a common incident for us, but stocks of this [substance] have been found elsewhere [in the country],” the spokesman added.

He said it could have been used as a ballast for boats due to its weight.

The spokesman said he was unable to confirm exactly what the substance was. He said the warning signs included a date from 1986.

A private company has been called to the scene to remove the hazardous substance.

Crews from Stalham, North Walsham, Carrow, Sprowston were joined by the environmental protection unit at the scene.

Do you have pictures of the scene? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684 or email luke.powell@archant.co.uk

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