AMARILLO — We’ve learned lack of education on how to use the chemical compound led to the deaths of four Amarillo children.

Aluminum Phosphide is often used as a fumigant to get rid of pests like gophers and mice. It is highly toxic to not only those animals, but humans as well.

When Aluminum Phosphide is mixed with water or any moisture, it produces a toxic Phosphine gas, which is what took the lives of these occupants. One resident of the east Amarillo home was trying to kill mice and placed the pesticide underneath their home, then applied water.

“They were already getting an odor and they were trying to suppress the vapors. He didn’t know enough about the chemical,” said Amarillo Fire Department Lieutenant Josh Whitney. “The chemical is only sold to people that have a license to apply it, and he got this black market. He applied it yesterday, and then so over the night is whenever all the toxic gasses were leeching to inside the house ”

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