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.


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

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