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Tatarstan Officials Say Radioactive Leak Aboard Plane Not Hazardous

KAZAN, Russia -- Officials in the Russian republic of Tatarstan say a radioactive substance found in a baggage compartment in a Moscow-Kazan plane over the weekend posed no health hazard, RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service reports.

Local media reported that when the plane from Moscow's Domodedovo airport with 120 passengers aboard landed in Kazan on October 23, the radiation level in the baggage compartment was very high.

An investigation revealed that a suitcase in the compartment contained three capsules with a radioactive substance used in medical X-Ray equipment. One of the capsules was broken and the substance was leaking.

Representatives of Tatarstan's Emergency Situations Ministry told journalists on October 24 that none of the 120 passengers aboard the plane required medical assistance and the radiation level was not dangerously high.

The capsules with the radioactive substance were being sent from Moscow to three clinics in Tatarstan, two in Kazan and one in the town of Almat (Almetyevsk).

Meanwhile, Tatarstan police launched a search for passengers who picked up their luggage before the leak was discovered.

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