Pesticide kills four minors in Amarillo home

Investigators say phosphine gas killed the four children when someone used "restricted use" pesticide Aluminum Phosphide as a poison to banish mice from the Amarillo, Texas home, The Daily Mail reports.

BSA Health System in Amarillo says five patients are in stable condition at its hospital. "When this chemical comes in contact with water, it creates Phosphine gas, which is highly poisonous and can cause pulmonary edema and respiratory failure". However, it has since been reported that the four Texas children who died are among eight siblings who lived in the trailer.

One of the children died at the scene, the other three individuals died at a local hospital.

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In addition to the people inside of the home, two members of the police department, seven fire fighters and one person from American Medical Response were taken to the hospital to get checked out. The names of the deceased children have not been made available.

Davis said someone went underneath the home to try to clean some of the chemical off with water and created phosphine gas.

Dozens of residents gathered near the home Monday afternoon, holding candles and praying for the victims. Their efforts were unsuccessful, and the child was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Along with the injured, 10 first responders were taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure even though they showed no signs of illness, according to the AP. All were reportedly cleared by medical personnel and not expected to have suffered any adverse effects from their exposure to the deadly pesticide.

The dead range in age from 7 to 17 years old: Felipe Baleras, 7; Josue Balderas, 11; Johnnie Balderas, 9; and Yasmeen Balderas, 17.

While the poisoning of the Texas children who died from apparent pesticide gas exposure is believed to be accidental, the devastating incident is being investigated by the AFD HazMat team and the APD's Special Crimes unit.

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