Radioactive Waste Found at Opa-Locka Airport

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue was dispatched to a hazmat call at Opa-Locka Airport Thursday morning that may possibly be a uranium spill.

Rescue crews responded to the east-end of the airport at taxi-way Alpha. This is a scrap yard where old planes are dismantled. Workers at the site found a 55-gallon drum that was about three quarters full of a product that it indicated was uranium. It was reported by the workers that there was a spill or leak in the work area.

Crews have established a staging area along 37th Avenue and 142nd Street. Responding units also included a hazmat unit from Miami International Airport which will take the lead on investigating and containing the material.

At around 1 p.m. on Thursday, the hazmat team has confirmed that uranium was inside the drum and was monitoring levels of radiation and requested assistance from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

According to the EPA’s website, depleted uranium is used in helicopters and airplanes as counter weights on certain wing parts.

The area has been cleared of all workers as crews continue to work this situation. No injuries are currently being reported at this time.

While everything may appear to be fine at the outset, it may take some time before the full risks surrounding a potential exposure to radiation manifest themselves. Injuries that are caused by an exposure to radiation can be physically devastating and even fatal. Working in an environment where radiation exposure is a possibility is very uncommon to most workplaces, but accidents can and do happen.

There are two types of serious injuries which can occur as a result of radiation exposure. The first is contamination. This happens when a person is exposed to various types of materials or events where radiation levels are high. When this happens, it is possible for radiation to enter the body. The other types of injuries happen when the body takes up radiation and the body’s cells, such as those found in the kidney, thyroid, bones and other areas take up the radiation.

Radiation injuries are very serious, and they often require extensive medical treatment to try to resolve the radiation damage. Medical costs for treatment to radiation exposure can be time consuming and expensive.

If you believe that you or a loved one have been exposed to radiation, first seek the advice of a doctor. Once you are ready, give our offices a call to see if we can file a personal injury claim. You may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries or other potential damages. Once you contact us, we will match you with an attorney who will take the time to sit down with you and explore all of your options. We are here to help you and your initial consultation is without cost or obligation.