MIAMI (Reuters) - A 55-gallon drum containing depleted uranium was found near a dismantled plane at a Miami-area airport on Thursday, prompting a brief evacuation but officials said it posed no environmental risk.
The uranium was discovered on old aircraft parts which had been broken up and placed into a container at the Opa-loca Executive Airport, said Mara Burger, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
“Someone disposed of the plane inappropriately,” she said.
The parts contained uranium 238, a material once used on airplanes for navigational purposes, Burger said.
No injuries were reported and a hazmat team dispatched to the airport found only minimal levels of radiation, said Lieutenant Arnold Piedrahita, a spokesman for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.
The airport handles some secondary traffic for Miami International Airport and offers aircraft maintenance and repair services.
Reporting by Kevin Gray; Editing by Alden Bentley