Radiation Linked To Dead Spy Found On Jets - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/29/06-LONDON, England

Radiation Linked To Dead Spy Found On Jets

Authorities grounded three British Airways jetliners in London and Moscow on Wednesday and drew up plans to contact thousands of airplane passengers as they broadened their investigation into the radiation poisoning death of a former Russian spy.

Two planes at London's Heathrow Airport tested positive for traces of radiation, a third plane has been taken out of service in Moscow awaiting examination.

Home Secretary John Reid disclosed the search following a meeting with COBRA, the government's emergency committee. Reid said two planes had been tested so far and that another would be tested.

The initial results of the forensic tests had shown very low traces of a radioactive substance onboard two aircraft, British Airways said in a statement.

The company added that the investigation is confined to the three planes, which will remain out of service until further notice.

High doses of polonium-210 -- a rare radioactive element usually manufactured in specialized nuclear facilities -- were found in Alexander Litvinenko's body, and traces of radiation have been found at sites in London connected with the investigation of his death.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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