4 Dead From Suspected Chemical Poisoning at Texas Home, Officials Say

Homeowner used a pesticide that released a toxic gas, officials said.

ByEMILY SHAPIRO
January 02, 2017, 5:07 PM

— -- Four people, all believed to be minors, are dead from suspected chemical poisoning at a home in Amarillo, Texas, on Monday, officials said.

The fire department said the case appears to be an "accidental poisoning with no criminal intent."

The victims were found after the fire department responded to a medical call around 5 a.m. today, the department said. It added that besides the four fatalities, several people were hospitalized.

Family members told the fire department that one of them had applied under the home a pesticide that contained the chemical aluminum phosphide, officials said.

"At some point, a family member tried washing the chemical from underneath the house with water," the department said. "When this chemical comes in contact with water, it creates phosphine gas, which is highly poisonous and can cause pulmonary edema and respiratory failure."

The fire department said it's unclear how long the family was exposed.

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