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  • Toddler dies in 'poisoning' tragedy
  • The Age
  • 23/12/2008 Make a Comment
  • Contributed by: The Rooster ( 264 articles in 2008 )
One of the children - in his mother's arms - is rushed to hospital. Photo: Channel 9
A toddler died and three of his brothers, including his twin, were injured in a suspected poisoning at a farm in north-western NSW yesterday.

- Toddler dies in suspected poisoning
- Siblings, including dead boy's twin, injured
- Rushed to hospital

Paramedics and police arrived at the property in Tambar Springs, west of Gunnedah, shortly after 2pm in response to a triple-0 call.

Police said they arrived at the farm of Andrew and Susan Higgins on Black Stump Way to find one of their 23-month-old twin boys in cardiac arrest. He was taken to Gunnedah Hospital by ambulance and died later.

Three of his siblings, the twin and boys aged three and five, were also taken to Gunnedah Hospital, and later by two helicopters to The Children's Hospital in Sydney's west.

It was unclear what happened, but it is understood the children may have drunk a chemical.

Police have taken statements from the children's family members, but have warned it is premature to speculate the toddler died as a result of poisoning.

SKY News this morning reported that police had said the poisoning was accidental, but a police media spokeswoman said investigations were still continuing.

Police said the three survivors had varying symptoms and were in a stable condition. The parents were with the children at the hospital, and officers would be speaking to them, police said last night.

The property, named Wandinong, is a cattle and grain farm.

A NSW Ambulance spokeswoman said one of the children suffered a seizure, another was alert, and the condition of the third child was unknown.

TV footage showed the children's mother being wheeled in a stretcher while holding the surviving twin. His condition could not be determined.

The twin's older siblings were also shown being wheeled in on a wheelchair. Both were conscious.

A report on the death will be prepared for the coroner.

with Arjun Ramachandran


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