Four minors, ranging in age from 7 to 17, died in what authorities are calling a "HAZMAT" incident

By Char Adams
January 03, 2017 08:43 AM
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Four Texas children died on Monday after breathing in a toxic gas that was accidentally released into their Northeast Amarillo home, PEOPLE confirms.

The children, ranging in age from 7 to 17, died in what authorities are calling a “hazmat incident,” KVII-TV reports. Six other people were taken to the hospital and one is believed to be in unstable, critical condition.

Officials said someone sprayed a pesticide to kill mice under the home and later tried to wash it away with water. This combination caused a dangerous chemical reaction that created the deadly phosphine gas that the children lived with for an unknown number of days, according to a statement from the Amarillo Fire Department obtained by PEOPLE.

Authorities responded to a call related to carbon monoxide poisoning at around 5 a.m. They arrived to find the one of the children unresponsive and unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate the child, officials said in the statement. The minor died at the scene.

The other children, ages 9, 11 and 17, died later at the hospital, WJLA reports. All of the victims in the home at the time showed symptoms of poisoning.

Dozens of residents gathered near the home Monday afternoon, holding candles and praying for the victims.

The children’s mother is hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, according to WJLA. Their father, along with the four other children, remained in the hospital Monday afternoon.

Officials said in the statement that the situation appears to be “an accidental poisoning with no criminal intent.”

Along with the injured, 10 first responders were taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure even though they showed no signs of illness, according to the AP.