Cita says farm workers sprayed with chemicals was accidental

Cita says farm workers sprayed with chemicals was accidental


Yuma, AZ- Yuma County Sheriff's Investigators tell KSWT News 13 spraying the migrant workers with chemicals was purely an accident.

CITA the organization that fights for migrant workers rights also says there was no criminal intent involved.

Still the question remains how did a pilot accidentally spray a field with chemicals and not see the people working down below.

This was the scene Friday night after a crop duster doused about 3 dozen farm workers with insecticide.It happened near W County

The situation was so bad the hazardous materials team was called in to decontaminate the migrant workers.

At least 33 farm workers were then forced to take off their clothes so the emergency workers could wash off the chemicals.

News 13 asked how could something like this happen?

"The mechanics of releasing and mixing the proper chemicals at the right time and the right area is an exact science. But human error can come in and there can be factors such as wind drift. If there is wind it can cause spraying to go to another area like homes, schools or workers in a field," said Janine Duron the executive director of CITA.

Duron says crop dusting is an exact science. That's because pilots use grids to help identify which fields to spray and which fields to avoid.

We also wanted to know what system is in place to keep something like this from even happening?

"There are many systems in place- the integrity of the farmer, the spraying company and the State Department of Agriculture," said Duron.

We should note KSWT NEWS 13 Meteorologist Garry Frank did not report any wind gusts in the area Friday night.

Right now all 10 injured migrants workers have been released from the hospital.

As for who pays for their medical bills?

Duron says most likely the farm owners insurance company will have to cover their medical expenses.


  • Email Alert Sign Up

    Sign up here to receive breaking news stories from and morning updates to your email inbox.

    * denotes required fields

    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.

KSWT-TV Affiliates

Go to KSWT-TV's Facebook page