Japan quake victims’ bodies could be radioactive

April 1st, 2011 - 6:32 pm ICT by IANS  

London, April 1 (IANS) Fear of radiation is preventing the authorities from collecting the bodies of about 1,000 victims of the March 11 Japan earthquake and ensuing tsunami.

There is a growing concern after one corpse discovered within three miles of the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant, north of Tokyo, was found to contain high levels of being radioactive.

Rescue workers, police, doctors, and family members have been warned that they risk being exposed to radiation if they collect the bodies, the Daily Express reported.

Radioactive human remains would create a huge problem as cremating them could spread the radiation, while burying them could lead to it simply leaking into the surrounding ground.

Authorities in quake-affected northeastern Japan are seeking to decontaminate infected corpses before they can be disposed of.

Meanwhile, thousands of people are fleeing the area as radioactive material still leaks from the stricken plant on Japan’s east coast.

The nuclear reactors at Fukushima n-plant are due to be closed down after the failure to contain the leak, with officials saying the final move would be to encase the plant in concrete to prevent further leaks of radiation.

National Police Agency said Friday that the catastrophic earthquake and ensuing tsunami have left 11,620 people dead and 16,464 others unaccounted for in Japan by 15:00 a.m. local time (0700 GMT), a Xinhua report said.

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