Four children have reportedly died as a result of toxic fumes from pesticide sprayed under a mobile home in Amarillo, Texas.
According to WJLA, the victims range in age from 7 to 17.
Aluminum phosphide-based Weevil-Cide is reportedly to blame for the incident, which has left six people in hospital – the parents of the deceased children as well as four other kids.
Someone living at the home reportedly tried to wash away the Weevil-Cide, resulting in the release of toxic phosphine gas.
The Amarillo Fire Department said signs indicate the 10 people inside the home had been breathing the gas for up to two days. The Daily Mail reports that 10 first responders were also taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.
This is not the first time aluminum phosphide has come under scrutiny for its toxicity.
According to one report, when the pesticide became readily available in 1992 in India it quickly overtook all other forms of intentional poisoning due to the reliability with which it kills various life forms. There is also no known antidote.
Public health authorities in Saudi Arabia even created a dramatic viral video to hit home the dangers of aluminum phosphide.
Unfortunately, products like Weevil-Cide are still readily available and widely used – even in the United States, as evidenced by the tragedy in Amarillo, Texas.
If you’d like to help the family from Amarillo, a GoFundMe page has been set up with the goal of raising $25,000.