Search Continues For Missing Radioactive Material

Federal and state agencies are still trying to find out what happened to a missing shipment of radioactive material that never made it to its East Texas location. Federal agents say a truck carrying the material made stops in Abilene, Austin, Dallas an Tyler on the way to Kilgore. But when the truck arrived at ProTechnics in Kilgore, two small vials of the radioactive material were missing.

Investigators say the vials contain Antimony 124, a toxic material used in the oil and gas pipeline field. A helicopter mounted with radiation monitors has even been utilized to try to find the substance. State officials are still at a loss as to what happened to the vials.

"My understanding is that the searching from the air began on Saturday and is continuing.  There are at least two possibilities to explain the missing materials.  One would be that it was never actually packed in the drum in Albuquerque.  The other would be that it was taken, stolen en route.  If it were stolen, it's something of a mystery as to why someone would want it," said Texas Department of State Health Services director, Doug McBride.

Antimony-124 is toxic and can cause skin ulcers and even be deadly if swallowed. Anyone with information is asked to call state or local authorities.

Bob Hallmark, reporting.