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Dangerous bodies: a case of fatal aluminium phosphide poisoning

Allen J Christophers, Surjit Singh, David G Goddard and Antony Nocera
Med J Aust 2002; 176 (8): 403.
Published online: 15 April 2002

To the Editor: In their case report entitled "Dangerous bodies", Nocera and colleagues described a case of poisoning with aluminium phosphide tablets,1 which generate the fumigant gas phosphine when exposed to moisture.2 The foul odour emanating from the patient alarmed hospital staff, leading to evacuation of the emergency department. After the patient died, they sealed his body in an impervious suit and bin. It was buried, without autopsy, using earth-moving equipment — it being considered too dangerous to do this by hand. The burial was filmed for television.

  • Allen J Christophers1
  • Surjit Singh2
  • David G Goddard3
  • Antony Nocera4

  • 1 2/21 Violet Crescent, East Brighton, VIC.
  • 2 Department of Internal Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh-160012, India.
  • 3 Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 4 Unit 10, Williamstown, VIC.

Correspondence: tonynoce@ozemail.com.au

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