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Baby dies, siblings in hospital after mom treats home for bed bugs

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Posted at 11:51 AM, Feb 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-25 13:54:38-05

ALBERTA, Canada – A baby has died and her four siblings are in the hospital after their mother treated the family home for bed bugs.

Officials said the 8-month-old girl died after her mother used an illegally imported pesticide from Pakistan, phosphine, to kill the bugs in the apartment.

The other four siblings, ranging in age from 2 to 7 years old, are said to be improving but remain in critical condition.

The mother was checked at the hospital and has been released, according to CBC News.

According to Canada’s Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), phosphine is classified as a poisonous material with immediate and serious effects. Its health effects are listed as “very toxic.”

Zaid Suliaman, the president of the Pakistani Cultural Association in the family’s area, told CBC News this is a very sad situation for the family but that it could have ended with even more devastating consequences.

“It could have been [worse] if [the phosphane] was in the hand luggage and it got wet on the airplane, you could have had a whole airplane full of dead people,” he said.

MORE: See the full story from CBC News