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Containers of Waste That Washed Ashore Not Radioactive

August 5, 1988

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) _ The 184 metal containers that washed ashore in Black Sea coastal provinces this week do not contain radioactive material, a government official said Friday.

″Radioactivity was our main concern and this possibility has been eliminated,″ said Attila Ozmen, head of Turkey’s Atomic Energy Organization.

Some of the containers had skulls and crossbones on them. A yellow liquid and torn pieces of clothing came out of the few drums that were opened.

Further tests on the contents will be conducted over the weekend, Ozmen said.

Officials have no clue where the drums came from but they assume they are from the same source, he added.

A West German ship with waste cargo is anchored in international waters of the Black Sea after being barred from Turkish waters.

About 1,500 tons of waste imported into Turkey five months ago from West Germany was shipped back July 29.

These incidents have led many Turks to suspect that the mysterious containers appearing on Black Sea shores could have been dumped from another ship unable to dispose of its cargo.

Update hourly