Pesticide poisoning blamed for girls' deaths in Ajman

Female beautician dies and two women fall sick in similar incident of suspected inhalation of toxins

Image Credit: Courtsey: Family
Hafsa, Sawda
14 Gulf News

Ajman: At least three people, including two baby girls, died in two separate incidents of suspected pesticide poisoning in Ajman and Fujairah, Gulf News has learnt.

Two daughters of a Bangladeshi family have died in Ajman and the cause of death is suspected to be inhalation of fumes from pesticides that were sprayed in a neighbour’s apartment.

In another incident, a 35-year-old Filipina died and her two female colleagues fell sick after reportedly inhaling pesticide fumes in their neighbour’s house in Fujairah.

In Ajman, the children’s father, Habib Allah, told  Gulf News that his two daughters fell sick and were taken to a hospital for treatment after reportedly inhaling pesticide fumes.
Habib Allah said that he noticed a strong odour coming from the apartment adjacent to his in the building in the new industrial  area in Ajman, but did not know that it was pesticide.

His two daughters, 3-year-old Hafsa and 8-month-old  Sawda, fell extremely ill and turned pale.  The family took their daughters to a hospital where they were given medication. The girls were discharged from the hospital after treatment.


On the second day, the two girls fell sick again and were taken to the intensive care unit at Khalifa Hospital in Ajman as their condition worsened.

Hafsa breathed her last in the hospital at around 7pm and Sawda died three hours later.  Habib Allah said that he came to know later that his neighbour had sprayed his apartment with pesticides.

The neighbour was not present in his apartment because the pesticide company had asked him to stay away for at least two days.  However, the tenant failed to inform his neighbours.  Police have taken the neighbour into custody and have sealed the flat pending investigations.

Habib Allah, a tailor by profession, has been living in the UAE since 1994.  Ajman Police are investigating the incident. Blood samples have been taken from all family members and autopsies on the girls’ bodies have also been done to determine the cause of death. Samples of the pesticide are also being examined.

According to the police, the incident happened on June 1. However, the police revealed details after the girls were buried on June 13 after completing the forensic examinations.

In the Fujairah incident, a 35-year-old Filipina who worked at a beauty salon died and two other female workers fell sick after inhaling pesticide fumes emanating from a neighbour’s apartment, an official at Fujairah police told Gulf News on Friday. The incident took place on Wednesday.

The condition of the two sick Ethiopian female workers who are being treated at Fujairah hospital is reported to be serious. The three women shared the same accommodation.

Strong odour

Investigations revealed that the neighbour’s  apartment was sprayed with pesticides and its residents were advised to leave for 48 hours due to the strong fumes.

Fujairah police launched an investigation over the incident while samples of the pesticide have been taken for forensic laboratory test.

Police said that legal action will be taken against the firm if it is proven that they were flouting the law, using banned chemicals that affect human health.

Ajman municipality has also warned residents against using pesticides made with banned materials.


  • Mobi

    16-Jun-2013 09:56

    Please hold pesticide company responsible for these murders as they wereknowing the deadly & banned substance they are using which isharmful to human. Even the customer is equally responsible and should bepenalized for not informing to his neighbours if he knew about thispossible lethal reaction of the chemical. Their negligence took theinnocent lives.

  • Ms. George

    16-Jun-2013 09:07

    Our neighbour sprayed pesticides and left the flat for a week without informing any of us. The smell was so strong and the child in the opposite flat suffering from asthma was admitted in the hospital due to breathing problems. Even we have a 1 year old toddler at home. I wish muncipality takes strict action against these pesticide companies.


    15-Jun-2013 15:43

    AUTHORITY SHOULD TAKE STRICT ACTION AGAINST THESE PEST CONTROL COMPANIES& SHOULD CANCEL THE PERMIT ON THE SPOT............THESE COMPANIESARE NOT WORRIED ABOUT ANY ADDITIONAL PRECAUTIONS TO BE TAKEN BEFORE THEYDO START & THEY ARE MIXING TOo STRONG TO KILL THE COCKROACHES &BEDBUGG IMMEDIATELY.....................BUT NOT WORRIED ABOUT ANYOTHER............. my self i never allow any pest control co in my flatto do by building maintenance OR private co ...........pls keep the areaneat & clean always & dispose unwanted stuff immediately whichis not of use.

  • Ahmed Saleem

    15-Jun-2013 14:31

    Takingcustody of the tenant or the neighbours will not remedy the problems orget back the childrens life. If any pesticides using in any apartmentthen they should get approval signature from the neighbours of thatfloor. Its very very sad to lose two kids and it will not forget entiretheir life. May ALLAH give strength to their parents and beloveds.

  • mags

    15-Jun-2013 14:21

    These Pest Control Services should have a licence/approval/authorizationfrom Municipality strictly and should have to pass approval from thebuliding reception's approval too. They should definitely be 100%responsible for causing harm to innocant uaware victims. Municipalityshould spread awareness on pesticides. Not every body reads newspapers unfortunately.

  • Anis Ahmad Fatehpuri

    15-Jun-2013 13:32

    Bed Bugs are the big problem in accommodations that's why people sprayprohibited pesticides also- In India we have very rare because of openhouses- here flats are closed and 24/7 there is electricity and AC isalso on- A lot of flats don't have balcony to spread the clothes outside and even its not permitted also to hang the clothes out side - So Iwould like to conclude the pesticide is not the problem, main problem isbed bugs and closed accommodations.

  • irina

    15-Jun-2013 13:23

    Lets all be human and inform the neighbours if you do pest control orany other activity that makes strong smells! There are also lots of kidswho are asthmatic and will react to any strong smells and startsuffocating! Only if we all respect each other and care for the otherskids can we be sure to have our won kids safe! Prayers are with thefamily who has lost their most precious little ones!

  • Nadira

    15-Jun-2013 12:51

    If needbe, the illegal ones need to be banned! How many more cases ofunfortunate circumstances do we need to read about revolving aroundpesticides before some proper action is taken?? Secondly, I really wouldlike Gulf News to share some tips and if possible share comments fromthe survivors/witnesses regarding what kind of odour to expect.Recently, in my airport road apartment we got extremely strong odours ofnail polish remover - we investigated every nook and corner of ourapartment and floor corridors. Called the watchman to investigate - hecouldnt identify the source. We asked our neighbors - but they couldntsmell anything. But ofcourse there was one neighbor who wasnt at homeand when the watchman called them - they said they had used pesticide aweek or 2 back. We have a strong feeling they were lying and wereperhaps out of their home due to the pesticide itself! What is the bestthing to do in such cases? The nail polish remover smell was so strong,our eyes were starting to water and it was getting difficult to breathe.Were we supposed to stay out of the home that night? Were we supposed tocall the police or the municipality? Totally ignorant on what we shouldhave done - kindly do share some feedback and tips.

  • qasim

    15-Jun-2013 12:21

    The authorities should take strict measures and ban all these privatecompanies i would say rather individuals who are doing this job as apart time without any experience and professionalism. We have noticeevery other day pamphlets of advertisement of such pest controls on ourdoor steps.The people who are doing this are buying cheap and dangerouschemicals and spraying without knowing it's consequences. Allah give thefamily the strength to cope such a big loss.

  • Sami Hajjaj

    15-Jun-2013 10:54

    I think the Pesticide company should get a Municipality Approval beforeadministering these toxins. The company should be liable for the deathof innocent people and the neighbor for not taking necessary precautionsand informing the building management or neighbors.

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Latest Comment

Please hold pesticide company responsible for these murders as they wereknowing the deadly & banned substance they are using which isharmful to human. Even the customer is equally responsible and should bepenalized for not informing to his neighbours if he knew about thispossible lethal reaction of the chemical. Their negligence took theinnocent lives.


16 June 2013 11:38jump to comments