Officials: minimal danger of radiation at Opa-Locka Airport
OPA-LOCKA, Fla. (WSVN) -- Miami-Dade Fire Rescue has found only minimal radiation levels at Opa-Locka Airport after the discovery of depleted uranium 238 in a scrap yard.
After crews established a staging area along 37th Avenue and 142nd when they first reported to the scene, just before 12 p.m., by 1:30 p.m., there was only a 5-foot safety perimeter established near a drum containing the substance.
A number of rescue crews responded to the east-end of the airport, at taxi-way Alpha, a scrap yard where old planes are taken apart. Workers found a 55-gallon drum that was about three quarters full of product that indicated it was uranium.
Upon closer inspection, a hazmat member found old airplane parts inside the drum, and radiation meters did detect traces of leaking uranium in those parts. Sometimes uranium is used in plane parts as weight to balance it. However, officials said, the radiation levels were low, and it posed no risk to people or the environment.
Airport officials said there was no impact to airplanes landing or departing the airport.
The area was cleared of all workers while crews investigated, but the area of concern was reduced to only a few feet, near a fence at the edge of that scrap yard.
(Copyright 2013 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)