JEDDAH, 13 August 2007 — Two Egyptian girls died and a third was hospitalized after their home was sprayed with insecticide that their father had bought from a local store.
Two sisters — Dua’a, 4, and Ala, 6 — died after their father sprayed their bedroom with the insecticide when they complained about bedbugs. Their elder sister, Shama, 10, is receiving treatment in a local hospital.
Tarik Al-Said had bought the insecticide at a local store. He sprayed the girls’ bedroom with the insecticide before taking taking them to a restaurant for a meal. Al-Said said that at the restaurant he did not eat anything because he does not like restaurant food and that his wife and daughters were the only ones that ate.
On returning home, the entire family, including the father, suffered severe diarrhea and vomiting. “At first we thought it was food poisoning. But I hadn’t eaten anything at the restaurant,” Al-Said told a local newspaper.
Dr. Hani Al-Hashmi, a doctor at the hospital that dealt with the case, said that the youngest daughter died before arriving at the hospital and that the second daughter came in a critical condition.
Following investigations, the hospital reported that the insecticide that the family used was of an industrial type used in farms and is harmful to human beings. The insecticide contained 65 percent aluminum phosphate.
Al-Said said he felt guilty over the death of his daughters because his ignorance had resulted in the catastrophe.
Last month, a pesticide expert in Riyadh called on supermarkets and grocery shops to withdraw from their shelves dangerous pesticides and insecticides following the tragic death of a Pakistani family of six, who died having inhaled toxic fumes from pesticides that they used in their apartment to get rid of rodents and insects.