THREE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN seriously injured after they were exposed to radiation from two containers believed to have been used in signal beacons during the construction of a hydroelectric plant in Georgia 30 years ago.

The three residents were reported to have found the containers – suspected to contain Strontium 90 – in the village of Lia, 370km west of Tbilisi. They were taken to hospital where they were treated for radiological burns to the hands, back and legs, as well as clinical signs of overall radiation.

Representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency arrived at the site on 5 January 2001. The area where the containers were found was fenced off, but the officials said there was no threat to nearby residents.