AMARILLO, Texas (KVII) — The toxicology results for the four children that died in a HAZMAT incident at a North Amarillo home in January confirm the children all died from Aluminum Phosphide poisoning.
On January 2, 9-year-old Johnnie Balderas, 7-year-old Filipe Balderas, 11-year-old Josue Balderas and 17-year-old Yasmeen Balderas were all found dead due to the deadly phosphine gas. Six other members of the family were hospitalized due to the deadly gas.
The toxicology results for all four children show the cause of death being ruled as "complications of acute aluminum phosphide (phosphine gas) exposure."
A statement on one of the toxicology results reads:
the residence had a large quantity of aluminum phosphide pellets placed beneath it. The ambient humidity released enough phosphine gas to make family members feel ill. Later, when an attempt was made to wash away the pellets, a large amount of phosphine gas was released."
The statement goes on the say:
Phosphine gas is difficult to detect in postmortem testing and no clinical laboratory could be located in the United States which could perform appropriate testing. The history, clinical presentation and autopsy findings, however, make it clear that aluminum phosphide exposure is the proximate cause of death.
Detectives with the Amarillo Police Department are still investigating the fatal incident and trying to determine where the deadly pesticide came from, as aluminum phosphide requires a license in order to be obtained. APD is trying to find out how the Balderas family got their hands on the poison.
Preliminary autopsy results for the four children who died showed pulmonary edema, a condition caused by excess fluid in the lungs. This was also reflected in the toxicology report.