Eight Referred to Court for Alleged Neglect after Egyptian Radiation Deaths
Eight Egyptians were referred to court Wednesday on charges of neglect in the case of a radioactive object that fatally poisoned two people last month, prosecutors said.
Salim Sayyed Ahmed, 48, the owner of a pipe welding firm, and seven others who worked for him, face up to 15 years' hard labor if found guilty, prosecutors said.
The prosecutors charged them with "using radioactive objects without a license" and "failing to take the proper precautions ... which led to the death of Fadl Hassan Fadl and his son Hassan Fadl Hassan," according to the charge sheet.
The accused have also been charged with failing to inform the authorities that the object had been lost.
Fadl, a 61-year-old farmer, found the piece of iridium, which was used to check the fastness of gas pipe joints, on his land in the village of Mit Halfa north of Cairo and took it home thinking it was a precious metal.
The farmer and his son died in June from exposure to the object, while five more members of his family were treated in hospital.
Egypt's Atomic Energy Authority, in a report issued earlier this month, said it suspected the object had been dumped illegally to avoid paying the fees charged to dispose of radioactive waste at its site - CAIRO (AFP)
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