Border guards got radiation sickness in training center

–The border guards received high levels of radiation and will have to be treated for many years, says Sergei Filin, a Russian doctor helping treat the victims, to Reuters. The training center is a former Soviet military base. Ten of the fifteen containers were buried at shallow depth inside the training center, while five more was found outside the base. Four of the containers had radioactive cesium in them.

The containers was abandoned without any security measures when the Soviet army handed over the base in 1992, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. No mention of them was made during the handover, according to border guard chief Valery Chkheidze.

Russian telvision channel NTV broadcasted pictures of some of the soldiers in hospital. One had a red sore on his back. Another victim had a nasty sore on his thigh. A Georgian nuclear expert with 40 years experience in the field was quoted by NTV, saying he had never seen anything like this. Russian hospitals have offered treatments to the victims, but none has been transferred yet.

A radiation safety expert identified as Noe Katamadze was quoted by Itar-Tass news agency, as claiming that the radiation level at the Lilo base was now normal. Georgian authorities has decided to set up a special commision to investigate.