Crushed device raises radiation fear in Cliftleigh

A RADIOACTIVE substance has been released into the soil at a new housing development in Cliftleigh.

Six fire crews were called to the housing estate off Main Road at 5.30pm yesterday after a bulldozer ran over a densometer and smashed it and its radioactive substance into the ground.

A densometer is a probe used in geotechnical engineering and it had been put in the ground to determine the depth of the soil.

Firefighters said the device contained a small radioactive isotope that had broken during the impact from the earthmoving machine.

Firefighters wore protective gear and used equipment to measure the level of radioactive activity in the soil.

They then treated the incident using HAZMAT techniques.

Police were also called to the incident and set up an exclusion zone around the estate.

One resident who witnessed the clean-up, but who did not want to be identified, said it was concerning that the radioactive substance had entered the soil.

She was worried about the impact it would have on the environment.

While considered "perfectly safe" in the hands of trained professionals, densometers can pose a health risk if the package is opened or damaged.

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