I looked at a datasheet for cobalt 60 apparently you have to come into physical contact. Looking at it shouldn't do them much harm.
Are you serious? It is a gamma and X-ray emitter. You don't need anywhere near direct contact. The MSDS I am looking at indicates 41,800 GBq/g. I have no idea what the quantity involved in the incident was, but if you postulate 1 kg, that means 41.8*10^15 Bq. The dose rate given in said MSDS is 370 uSv/h/GBq at 1 m. That works out to 370 Sv/h for said 41.8 thousand thousand GBq., or about 6 Sv/min (600 rem/min). Coincidentally, that is LD50 for whole-body radiation. I'm pretty sure that would do the trick, absent heroic and expert medical measures promptly applied (and likely even if they WERE applied), if torso and/or head was placed at 1 m for 1 minute. And these fumb ducks are not likely going to be visiting a hospital which has expertise in massive radiation sickness.
There is a lot of postulation there, but the take-home is that your assumption is grossly incorrect. Good thing you weren't on scene.