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Man dies from pesticide fumes in Dubai flat.

Man dies from pesticide poisoning via air conditioning vents

A MAN has died from pesticide poisoning that spread through air conditioning units, Dubai Police say.

Police announced on Sunday that a Filipino was found dead at a flat in Dubai after her neighbour spread Aluminum Phosphide in an attempt to cure a cockroach infestation while he was travelling.

Six men who were in the same flat as the Filipino were rushed to Rashid Hospital in Dubai suffering from "suffocation".

The men have since been released from hospital after recovering. Cops say the Aluminum Phosphide pesticide was purchased illegally.

They have arrested four people in connection with the case and are looking for a fifth person who is "at large outside the country."

The incident took place on Tuesday, July 29, police said. No details were given as to where in Dubai it happened.

"At the beginning we thought they had eaten poisoned food -- but there was strong smell inside the flat and (from) the floor," General Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, the CID affairs assistant for Dubai's Police Chief, said.

"We called an expert from Dubai Municipality and traced the smell which was coming from a locked flat," he added.

Police then raided the flat and found Aluminum Phosphide inside it.

"We arrested the man before travelling and he claimed that he and his friend had brought the material and spread it in the flat," said General Al Mansouri.

"His friend claimed that he bought it from another person who doesn't have permission to sell such materials."

Police said they spoke to a third person that claimed he bought it from a fourth person.

And the fourth person told police he'd bought it from a fifth. The four men have been transferred to Dubai Public Prosecution.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing but police said that they have charged the four men with wrongly causing the death of the Filipino and harming the other six men.

Police warned against the use of illegal materials in flats or homes -- especially ones acquired from non-authorised pesticide offices.

The Health Protection Agency UK describes Aluminium Phosphide as a "yellow or dark grey crystalline solid that is non-flammable and has a garlic-like odour."

The agency adds on its website: "On contact with water or air, aluminium phosphidereleases phosphine gas, hence it is usedas a fumigant to control rodents, and aninsecticide for agricultural crop."

The Health Protection Agency UK labels the substance as "toxic by inhalation and ingestion" -- and lists its chemical classification as "very toxic."

No other details about the case were given by police.

Ali.shouk@7days.ae

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Publication:7 Days (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Aug 10, 2014
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