Suspected RADIOACTIVE passenger train from Germany causes alarm in Moscow

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A passenger train that arrived to Moscow from Germany was evacuated and inspected for elevated levels of radiation after causing alarm on the border crossing with Belarus. Officials said those on board were not in danger, however.

One of the cars in the train, which originated in Berlin, is said to have registered increased levels of background radiation during an inspection on the Belarus-Russia border. Upon arrival at Moscow’s central Belorussky station on Tuesday evening, the entire train was evacuated, and the platform was sealed off by the police. 

Specialists from the government watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, nuclear waste management company Radon, and city services personnel were all involved in the inspection. A mobile laboratory, which allows for rapid on-site analysis of samples, has also been deployed.

An all-clear was eventually given, however. 

“According to the results of the measurements, there was no danger to the  health of passengers on board this train,” the Emergencies Ministry (EMERCOM) press service told reporters.

Heightened radiation levels were recorded in one of the compartments and in the toilet – three and seven microsieverts, respectively. The average dental x-ray is from five to ten, by comparison. 

The car was reportedly used by cancer patients traveling to Germany for treatment, and was empty on the return trip. It is possible that radioactive substances used in therapy may have been improperly handled on board during the outgoing trip and left lingering traces of radiation. 

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