By Jon Herskovitz


AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Four children aged 7 to 17 died after a toxic gas leak from a pest control product at their home in Amarillo, Texas, fire officials said on Tuesday.


Six others survived the incident, with Martha Balderas, the mother of the children, in critical condition at a hospital in the nearby Texas Panhandle city of Lubbock, hospital officials said.


"It has really shocked our community," Amarillo Fire Department Captain Larry Davis said in a telephone interview.


Those killed were Balderas siblings Yasmeen, 17; Josue, 11; Johnnie, 9, and Felipe, 7, the department said.


The Amarillo Fire Department reported the deaths on Monday but did not identify the victims.

A page seeking to raise $25,000 has been set up to help the family pay for the funerals.

"We are so sorry for your loss. Family is everything," contributor Nancy Spring-Epley wrote on the page.

The gas leak was caused when water was added on Sunday to the restricted fumigant, which contained aluminum phosphide. That created toxic phosphine gas, the fire department said, adding it was viewing the gas leak as an accident.

The department was called in on Monday to find the sickened family. The home has been cordoned off and local and state officials are working on a strategy to make the scene safe, Davis said.

"The site of the incident is secured and does not pose any known health hazards to the surrounding community," the city of Amarillo said in a statement.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Peter Cooney)