50 Evacuated After X-Ray Machine Jams

About 50 people were evacuated from a Reseda apartment complex Wednesday evening when an X-ray machine malfunctioned and emitted small amounts of radiation behind the complex, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported.

Fire Department spokesman Jim Wells said the mishap occurred about 5:20 p.m. while workers were X-raying a concrete structure behind the apartment building at 19545 Sherman Way to locate a reinforcement bar. The X-ray machine did not close properly and a container of cobalt 60 was emitting small amounts of radioactivity.

No one was injured, but firefighters evacuated the building as a precaution and a stretch of Sherman Way--between Corbin and Shirley avenues--was also closed for several hours until county health officials removed the machine, firefighters said.