Official says insecticide pellets in Alberta apartment became deadly when vacuumed

An investigator says insecticide pellets placed throughout a northern Alberta apartment to kill bed bugs became deadly when a tenant took out her vacuum.

FORT MCMURRAY — An investigator says insecticide pellets placed throughout a northern Alberta apartment to kill bed bugs became deadly when a tenant took out her vacuum.

An eight-month-old baby died and four other children remain in hospital after falling ill over the weekend in Fort McMurray.

Deputy fire chief Brad Grainger says the family had recently brought a type of aluminum phosphide back from a trip to Pakistan.

He says the green tablets were placed around the apartment, particularly in one bedroom, to try to kill bed bugs.

When the mother vacuumed the floor, he says, some of the toxic material was disturbed, broke down and became airborne.

The Canadian Grain Commission says aluminum phosphide is typically used on farms to get rid of insects in grain bins, but must be handled by trained people wearing protective gear.