Four children aged 7 to 17 died in Amarillo, Texas on Monday after someone sprayed water on a pesticide treatment.
The water mixed with aluminum phosphide that had been applied under the mobile home, creating toxic phosphine gas, CNN reports.
The incident, which occurred at 5 a.m. Monday, was ruled an accident. At least five other people were hospitalized. The dead children were identified as Felipe Balderas, 7, Yasmeen Balderas, 17, Josue Balderas, 11, and Johnnie Balderas, 9, KAMR reports.
About the pesticide
Aluminium phosphide is listed under the EPA's Toxicity Category I, its most dangerous category. While an effective insect and rodent killer, it can be very dangerous if inhaled.
It's used in pesticides like Fumitoxin, Weevil-Cide and Fastphos, according to a Cornell University report. Symptoms of aluminum phosphide poisoning range from nausea, stomach pain and chest tightness to trouble breathing, diarrhea and death.
The Amarillo Fire Department said the pesticide was used by an unlicensed dealer.
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