TRAGEDY STRIKES ENTIRE FAMILY: Second Jerusalem Child Dies in Tragic Incident [UPDATED 15:40 IL]



EMS responders arrived on Shachal Street in the Givat Mordechai neighborhood of Yerushalayim on Wednesday morning 21 Shevat 5774 only to find and entire family requiring treatment.

Two toddlers were in the worst condition, unconscious when the EMS teams arrived. Magen David Adom EMT/A Shmuel David explains the small children were unconscious when he arrived. Two other children, ages 6 and 3 were in a room with their mother. Both parents were transported with the four children to nearby Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

It appears an exterminator worked in the apartment and the family members are all suffering the effects of an unknown poisonous substance used.

According to reports from Shaare Zedek, one of the toddlers has died and the second remains in grave condition as life-saving efforts continue. The other family members are listed in moderate condition.

This story will be updated as police, hospital, and other officials release verified information.

12:22 IL:
Hospital Deputy Medical Director Dr. Ovadia Shemesh explains all of the children were in serious condition or worse when the family arrived. He explains that many doctors and other professionals worked to save the family members, some requiring artificial respiration and others CPR. The doctor confirms one toddler died and the other children are in serious condition in an intensive care unit as they continue efforts to stabilize them. “We are doing everything possible and we hope that we will be able to save the other children” stated Dr. Shemesh. He adds that the medical condition of the parents is not as serious but adds their mental state is quite another story.

Israel Radio adds the parents have told authorities that a professional exterminator was in their home a day earlier, on Tuesday 20 Shevat.

12:45 IL:
Police have tracked down the exterminator who was in the home a day ago. He is detained for questioning at this time. The decision was made to evacuate the other tenants of the apartment building after testing revealed an unacceptably high level of phosphorus in the building. People are not being permitted within 200 meters of the building.

Police report the exterminator is too confused to give a coherent statement at present after realizing the magnitude of the tragedy that has occurred.

He has confirmed working in the apartment on Tuesday, and it appears he left behind an unspecified quantity of a phosphorus based agent.

13:02 IL:
Dr. Shemesh told Israel Radio that while they now know the substance used by the exterminator, there is no antidote that can neutralize the effects of the poison. Dr. Shemesh adds that the children began showing signs of poisoning on Tuesday evening, and this morning some of the children began vomiting, the parents report. He adds a 4-year-old child remains in critical condition and everything possible is being done to save her life, as well as the lives of two other children, 5 and 7-years-old, listed in serious condition.

 13:11 IL: 

Dr. Shemesh adds one child is in critical/unstable condition in a pediatric ICU and two other children are in serious condition in that ICU. They are all “fighting for their lives” as the medical team supports their vital functions as the doctor stresses there is no antidote that can be given to counteract the effect of the poison.

Dr. Shemesh adds the he has conferred to experts in dealing with this poison and “everything possible that can be done is being done,” adding “the next 24 hours will be critical for all of the children”.

The child who was niftar in the emergency room was 18-month-old, Channel 2 News reports.

Ichud Hatzalah EMT Dvir Adani explains that while he was doing CPR on the little child, the parents stated she complained of not feeling well on Tuesday night, adding an exterminator did work in the home earlier that day.

13:33 IL:
Hazardous materials experts are saying the pesticide used in the home is indeed legal and its use is widespread. One expert stated that perhaps it was too concentrated and/or too much residue remained in the home. A fire department officer stated readings of the pesticide on the floor as one room was dangerously high. It is unknown at this time if the family erred by entering the apartment so soon following the use of the pesticide, if the solution was too concentrated or a combination of factors that led to the tragic result. The fire department has closed off the Givat Mordechai street at this time while hazardous materials experts continue operating in the building of the chareidi family stricken with this tragedy.

It is reported that the poison contained in the pesticide impacts vital bodily functions but the worst damage is to a victim’s lungs.

13:54 IL:
Tefilos are requested for the three children; Avigail Pasya, Michoel Shlome, Yitzchock Issac ben/bas Michel

13:58 IL:

Family members report the children were not feeling well last night. The youngest, who was niftar, was taken to a clinic last night and the children remained home from school today. The parents, described as “totally committed to the children” remained home with the children.

15:40 IL: Baruch Dayan Emmes. A second child, a 4-year-old daughter was niftar in an intensive care unit of Shaare Zedek Medical Center a short time ago.

An 18-month-old sister was niftar earlier in the day as a result of the tragic incident.

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(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem / Photos: Chadashot 24)



  1. This is one most horrible tragedy. There are no words…

    10,000 people die annualy as a result of cigarette poisins in Israel. Yaakov Litzman, is however fighting against legistlation to ban tobacco advertising.

    Anyone who can help change his mind may prevent many more tragedies like the one above.

    To see his words, google for the Knesset report:
    “אני נגד עישון אבל צריך לשמור גם על התעשייה והעיתונות”

  2. What a terrible tragedy. ..

    Wish we finally came together as a nation to do teshuva already.

    The choice is ours. Just how bad things will get. That’s up to YOU and ME.