Database of radiological incidents and related events--Johnston's Archive

Guangzhou radiological assault, 2002

compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last modified 18 September 2007

Date: May 2002

Location: Guangzhou, P.R. China

Type of event: use of radioactive material in intentional assault on an individual


A Chinese nuclear scientist, Gu Jiming, used radioactive iridium-192 pellets in an attack on a business rival. Gu used forged papers to obtain an industrial machine containing the iridium-192, then placed them above the ceiling panels in the hospital office of the rival. The victim soon reported symptoms including memory loss, fatigue, appetite loss, headaches, vomiting, and bleeding gums. Another 74 staff members of the hospital, including one pregnant woman, also had symptoms. Gu was convicted 29 September 2003, given a suspended death sentence (life in prison), and an assistant was sentenced to a 15-year prison term.

Consequences: 75 injuries.


© 2007 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 18 September 2007.
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