More than 400 Vietnamese workers were evacuated from an oil rig after a radioactive device was lost, officials and state media said Sunday.Nearly 200 panicked workers were tested for exposure at a local hospital after dozens complained of dizziness and problems breathing, said Tran Van Bay, director of Le Loi Hospital.
Preliminary test results showed all were in good health, Bay told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
“We did not find any problems after different tests on their blood and hearts were conducted,” Bay said, adding four workers remained hospitalized Sunday because of dizziness, though the cause remained unclear.
The radioactive device, used to inspect welding knots on an oil rig in Ba Ria Vung Tau province, 75 miles southeast of Ho Chi Minh City, was misplaced when it was being moved from one welding area to another, said the online news Web site VnExpress.
It was missing for more than an hour before being found.
Twenty-eight workers who were closest to the device were sent to Vietnam’s only nuclear institute in central Da Lat city for chromosome testing, said director Nguyen Nhi Dien.
Those test results will not be ready until next week, said Dien.
He said it would have been difficult for radiation poisoning to occur because the device, which was not damaged, had a low level of radioactivity.
Vietnam has about 200 industrial and health care establishments that use radioactive devices for medical treatment or industrial purposes, according to the Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety and Control.
Source : HSEE Magazine