A 27-year-old mother allegedly poisoned her five children in Germany on Thursday before trying to take her own life by throwing herself in front of a train.
Named locally as Christiane K., the mother remains in a serious condition after she hurled herself onto the tracks at Dusseldorf station, 20 miles from the flat in Solingen where her three girls and two boys lay dying.
The children are three girls aged one-and-a-half, two and three-years-old, and two boys, Luca, eight, and Timo, six.
A police source told RTL that the children were poisoned with tablets.
Christiane K.’s sixth and eldest child, Marcel, 11, was unharmed and is now being looked after by his relatives.
Christiane K.’s sixth and eldest child, Marcel, 11, was unharmed and is now being looked after by his relatives (pictured: the mother kissing her eldest)
Emergency personnel outside the apartment block in Solingen where five children were found dead in Germany today
An investigator in forensic gear works on the balcony of the apartment building where a mother is suspected of having killed her five children
The police said they were unable to contact the children’s father.
Marcel was with his mother on the train after the crime, local media reported, and headed on to his grandmother’s house in Monchengladbach when his mother got off at Dusseldorf.
It was there at Dusseldorf Central Station that Christiane K. tried to kill herself before she was rescued from the tracks of the regional S-Bahn line.
Police said the children’s grandmother alerted them to the tragedy at 2pm and ambulances rushed to the flat in Solingen.
Rescuers themselves were said to be traumatised by what they found in the building, and also shocked by the state of the flat.
One report said that rescuers had tried to resuscitate the children but arrived too late to save their lives.
Stefan Weiand, a police spokesman at the house, said it was a ‘tragic situation’ and added that the mother was not yet in a fit state to be questioned.
‘We are assuming a crime was committed. How and why that happened, we cannot say,’ he told broadcaster WDR.
The bodies were discovered at an apartment building in Solingen, 20 miles from Cologne in western Germany
Police officers stand behind lines of tape at the entrance of the apartment block in Solingen
A police officer lifts up a line of tape for an investigator in forensic gear to enter the building
German railway operator DB said there were closures in Dusseldorf because an emergency doctor had been needed on the track.
Authorities in nearby Wuppertal are investigating the children’s deaths, with dozens of officers and a fleet of emergency vehicles outside the building.
Jürgen Hardt, a member of the German parliament, said he had reacted in ‘horror’ when he heard the news of the children’s deaths.
‘I wish the emergency services and the police strength as they deal with the case, which will affect them deeply as well,’ he said.
German police have found the bodies of five children in a building in the town of Solingen (pictured, emergency vehicles in front of the house)
The balcony of an apartment at the Solingen residential block, where emergency rescuers were said to be traumatised by what they found
A group of uniformed people stand by a police van outside the apartment block in Solingen