At least three exposed to radiation after quake: Reports

At least three residents evacuated from a Japanese town near a quake-hit nuclear plant have been exposed to radiation.

Updated: Mar 13, 2011, 00:10 AM IST

Tokyo: At least three residents
evacuated from a Japanese town near a quake-hit nuclear plant
have been exposed to radiation, media reports said on Saturday.

The three were randomly chosen for examination out
of some 90 bedridden patients moved from a hospital in the
town of Futaba-machi, public broadcaster NHK reported.

The patients had waited for rescuers on a school
ground, spending a long time outside and then being moved by
helicopter at the time when an explosion hit the ageing
Fukushima No. 1 plant, NHK said, citing the Fukushima local
government.

The explosion sent plumes of smoke spewing from the
nuclear power plant today, raising fears of a possible
meltdown a day after a massive quake struck the facility`s
cooling system.

The government declared an atomic emergency and
said tens of thousands of people living within 20 kilometres
(12 miles) of the plant should leave.

The operator of the nuclear plant said the
container surrounding the reactor was not damaged despite the
explosion.

PTI