Indiana, Illinois officials searching for missing radioactive device

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Oct. 20, 2015) — Authorities are searching for a missing radioactive container in Illinois and Indiana.

Wayne County Well Surveys Inc. of Fairfield reported Friday that it couldn’t find a “radioactive well logging source holder” last known to be in a company vehicle.

The device is silver, measures about 12 inches tall and 14 inches in diameter, and weighs about 75 pounds. A search for the container has spanned 16 counties in Illinois and two counties in Indiana.

Illinois Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Patti Thompson says the container has Americium, which can act like an X-ray and make petroleum exploration more efficient. She says the container isn’t hazardous to people who find it, but it shouldn’t be moved or opened.

Thompson says it’s “unlikely” the radioactive source could be used for “malicious purposes.”

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