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4 children are dead after a suspected pesticide poisoning incident in Texas

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Four children died Monday in a suspected pesticide poisoning incident at home in Amarillo, Texas. 

Amarillo Special Crimes said nine people were taken to the hospital and four have died. 


The Amarillo Fire Department responded to a medical call around 5 a.m. and when they arrived, at least one minor had already died. The other three died after being transported to the hospital. 

Justice of the Peace Gary Jackson told ABC affiliate KVII that those who died have been identified as Felipe Balderas, 7; Josue Balderas, 11; Johnnie Balderas, 9; and Yasmeen Balderas, 17.

Autopsies will be performed on the bodies Tuesday morning in Lubbock. 

Jackson added that the children's mother is still alive, but in serious condition. She was airlifted to a hospital in Lubbock and the children's father is in stable condition. 

The four other children who were home at the time of the incident are in the intensive care unit, but remain in stable condition. 

The fire department told reporters someone had sprayed a pesticide, identified as Weevil-Cide, under the house. The pesticide contained aluminum phosphide and when someone tried to wash it away with water, it caused a chemical reaction that created phosphine gas. 

Phosphine gas is known to cause pulmonary edema and extreme respiratory distress. 


The Amarillo Fire Department said the family could have been breathing the toxic gas for up to two days. 

At this point, the fire department said the case appears to be an "accidental poisoning with no criminal intent."

A candlelight vigil was held Monday night to honor the four victims. 

A woman was killed in a New Year's Day fireworks explosion in Hawaii

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