February 29, 2016 10:39 AM EST

A truck carrying dangerous radioactive material was stolen over the weekend in San Juan del Rio, Mexico.

A bright yellow container with radioactive iridium-192 inside was in the truck when it was stolen early Saturday morning, according to a statement from the National Coordination of Civil Protection, a Mexican government agency.

If released from its container, the radioactive material could cause “permanent or grave wounds” to a person who handles it even briefly, in a matter of minutes or hours, NBC reports.

The Mexican states of Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Queretaro, San Luis Potosi and Michoacanave have gone on alert since the radioactive material’s disappearance.


Write to Julia Zorthian at julia.zorthian@time.com.

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