Galymzhan Zhailauov, the exterminator, is due to stand trial accused of killing a two-year-old and 29-year-old woman
By Roksana Panashchuk & Amber Hicks
Mum Shynarai Suiindik died in hospital (Image: KTK)
A toddler has died from gas poisoning after her bedroom was sprayed with a deadly pesticide by an exterminator trying to get rid of bedbugs.
The two-year-old youngster was killed alongside a 29-year-old woman, while seven others were rushed to hospital with acute intoxication after breathing in the gas at a block of flats.
Now the exterminator who carried out the work is due to stand trial over their deaths.
Galymzhan Zhailauov claims he did not know that the pesticide he was using is so toxic for humans and that it may cause brain damage and death.
The 25-year-old was hired by an exterminating company in spite of not having any knowledge or experience in the field, it has been claimed.
He received instructions and explanations on how to work via a messenger, local media report.
Five months ago, Zhailauov was called by residents of an apartment block to deal with bedbugs in the city of Aktau in southwestern Kazakhstan Mangystau Region.
He took a pesticide named ‘Quick Force’, which is supposed to be only used in agriculture as it is toxic for humans and may cause brain damage and death if used in residential areas, reports say.
Zhailauov clams he was not aware the pesticide was dangerous when heartily spraying the substance on the floor, windowsills and beds in the residents’ apartments.
After being sprayed inside the flats, the pesticide released methyl bromide, a colourless and odourless gas which is toxic to humans.
Two of the victims, 29-year-old Shynarai Suiindik and two-year-old Firuza Dastankyzy died from gas poisoning in the hospital.
Seven other victims survived the incident.
Mrs Suiindik’s mother-in-law Zhanylsyn Sisengalieva has demanded punishment for all those responsible for the tragedy.
She said: “My daughter-in-law died because of the negligence of the exterminator, his company and officials. All of them should be punished.
“My little granddaughter constantly asks me, ‘Where is my mother?’, and I do not know what to say”.
Local media report Zhailauov had been working as an exterminator for five months.
He had been hired by the ‘Tarakan-Net’ exterminating company in spite of not having any knowledge or experience in the field.
He told local media: “I bought the pesticide at a local market for 10, 000 tenge [£20].
“I received detailed instructions on how to use it and where to spray it in the flats from my company via a messenger.
“I used it earlier as well and did not have any problems.
“When I told them [his bosses] that some people died, they said, ‘It is your problem.’”
Aleksandr Fokin, a local expert, said: “The pesticide used in the incident is deadly dangerous to humans.
“The pesticide releases methyl bromide, a colourless gas that damages the human brain.
“It is used in agriculture to control pests and forbidden to use in residential areas.
“It is illegal to sell it at a regular market. It should be sold only to agriculture companies.”
Zhailauov is accused of violation of health regulations resulting in death and is standing trial.
The Tarakan-Net company representatives and local officials have yet to comment on the incident.
The suspect faces up to ten years in prison if found guilty.