4 Children Dead, Six People Hospitalized After Suspected Gas Poisoning in Amarillo

Four children have died and six other people were hospitalized after a poisonous gas was believed to have been released when someone tried to wash away a fumigant applied under a Texas home, officials said. Amarillo fire officials called the incident an accidental poisoning. Fire Capt. Larry Davis said a resident had tried to use a fumigant containing aluminum phosphide. When mixed with water, the chemical creates phosphine gas, which can cause respiratory failure, the Amarillo Globe-News reported. In severe cases, the gas can cause a pulmonary edema, which fills the lungs with fluid, Davis said.Emergency responders were called about 5 a.m. to the house in the 1300 block of Carolyn Street for what was originally believed to be a carbon monoxide call. One child died at the scene and three others died at an area hospital. Five other people were transported to an area hospital Monday. They were the four of eight siblings who lived in the home, the Globe-News reported. The children who died range from 7 to 17 years old, Justice of the Peace Gary Jackson told KVII-TV.Their causes of death have not been determined.The mother was airlifted in serious condition to a Lubbock hospital. The father and four other children are in stable condition in intensive care, KVII reported.The fumigant was later identified as Weevil-Cide. One of the residents reportedly try to crawl under the home to wash some of the chemicals off, triggering the reaction, the Globe-News reported. It's unclear how long the residents were exposed to the phosphine gas before someone went over to the home Monday and called 911 after finding everyone sick, Davis told the Globe-News. Amarillo's special crimes unit told KVII that "no criminal charges appear to apply at this time."Ten first responders were taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure, but have not shown any symptoms of illness. The Associated Press contributed to this report.  Continue reading...

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