NEW DETAILS: Authorities Searching for Radioactive Rod That Went Missing

Staff Report
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND COUNTY - There's still no sign of a radioactive piece of equipment that was reported missing on Tuesday.

Now we've learned the state is getting involved in the search and finding out how it was lost.

The State Department of State Health Services is now helping law enforcement in the search and they've called in a Texas National Guard Unit based in Austin with specialized equipment that can be used to locate radioactive material.

We've learned a Halliburton crew lost the radioactive rod somewhere between Reeves County and Upton County.

The radioactive rod is tiny and if you find it, whatever you do, don't touch it.

The sheriff's office was notified the rod was last used at a well site in Reeves County on Monday and was retrieved after it was used.

The truck, transporting the rod, then travelled northbound on State Highway 18 to Interstate 20.

From there, it went east to FM 1788 in Midland County then south to a location 20 miles inside Upton County.

When the crew went to get it, the radioactive rod was gone and a massive search has not found it.

The missing rod is silver in color and is seven inches long and one inch across.

It's marked "danger radioactive" stamped in red.

There is also a brass bolt screwed on one end.

It can be hazardous if you hold it in your bare hands or carry it in your pocket for a continuous length of time. You're asked to stay at least 25 feet away from it.

Deputies from several counties have been hunting for the rod since it turned up missing.

If you do find it, stay away from it or you run the risk of radiation exposure and contact the nearest law enforcement agency immediately.