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Author: 
Arab News
Publication Date: 
Tue, 2009-02-24 03:00

JEDDAH: Two children of a Danish family died after being rushed to hospital from Basateen compound yesterday. The cause of their death has not yet been officially established, but a source very close to the family who did not want to be named told Arab News that the deaths were caused from pesticide poisoning.

The children, a boy aged two and his six-year-old sister, had recently returned to the Kingdom after a short vacation.

According to the source, the occupant of a villa adjacent to the Danish family had asked, just before going on vacation, for pest control to visit and rid the house of cockroaches.

The company then used a tablet form of pesticide that breaks down on contact with air and turns into gas.

Yesterday morning, the parents of the children awoke to find their son experiencing breathing difficulties and his sister, the interlocutor said, was “very unwell.”

Their mother was sick but the father, though affected, was capable enough to rush the family to a local hospital.

The two-year-old boy died on the way and his sister succumbed in the hospital a short time later. The latest information at the time of going to press was that the mother had recovered substantially.

Residents of the compound contacted by Arab News were reluctant to give their reactions or speculate on the many rumors circulating. All admitted to a sense of shock at the tragedy befalling the family.

Arab News attempted to contact the compound manager to comment. At the time of going to press, no replies had been received.

Sources in Basateen said that they had heard unofficially that a meeting of residents will be called today and that they expected an official version of the events to be issued at that time.

If the details in this story are accurate, this marks yet another case of children dying after pesticides were used inside the home.

In January two Ethiopian boys died in Jeddah after a pesticide, possibly an industrial grade, was applied inside their home.

In September two children died after their neighbor used an insecticide in his home before leaving on vacation. The fumes spread outside the apartment and six families were evacuated from the building, according to police reports. In August 2007 two Egyptian sisters died of the same insecticide. In October 2007, a Filipino woman died due to inhalation of a pesticide.

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