About 150 pounds of commercial plastic explosives has disappeared from a private storage site, along with 2,500 blasting caps and 20,000 feet of explosive detonation cord, authorities said Monday.
"In the hands of the wrong person, this material can be very, very destructive," Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White said at a news conference.
Wayne Dixie, an agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said the missing material was enough to level a building. Two containers, both stored inside two bunkers southwest of Albuquerque, were burglarized sometime between Dec. 13 and Sunday, authorities said.
Venezuela has declared a state of emergency and launched a nationwide hunt for a stolen truck carrying a capsule of the highly radioactive Iridium-192.
Angel Diaz, director of nuclear affairs at Venezuela’s Energy Ministry, made a plea to the thieves and the people of Venezuela that the truck, missing since Sunday night, be returned safely. "We call on those who stole it, probably because of the truck, to say that they can suffer very serious consequences that can lead to death."
The capsule in question sits in a container about the size of a lunch box. Diaz could not rule out the theft being motivated by "malicious purposes," but was hoping it was a simple matter of truck theft. This is the third capsule of its kind to go missing in the country since March.