Five children found dead in an apartment in Germany were reportedly poisoned by their mother who then tried to take her own life by jumping in front of a train.
The 27-year-old woman, named locally as Christiane K, remains in a serious condition in hospital after being struck by a suburban train at Dusseldorf station, around 20 miles from the flat in the Hasseldelle district of Solingen where five of her children lay dying.
They were three girls, aged 18 months, two and three, and two boys, aged six and eight. A police source told RTL they had been poisoned with tablets.
Her sixth and eldest child, an 11-year-old boy named Marcel, was unharmed and is thought to have travelled with his mother on the train before she got off at Dusseldorf, continuing to his grandmother’s house in Monchengladbach, according to local media.
Reports suggest Marcel is now being cared for by relatives, although police said they have so far been unable to contact the children’s father.
Medics rushed to the flat shortly after 2pm yesterday after the children’s grandmother raised the alarm, police said.
Stefan Weiand, a police spokesman at the house, described it as a ‘tragic situation’, adding that the mother was not yet in a fit state to answer questions.
He told broadcaster WDR: ‘We are assuming a crime was committed. How and why that happened, we cannot say.’
Dozens of police officers and forensic scientists were at the property yesterday.
Jürgen Hardt, a member of the German parliament, said he felt a sense of ‘horror’ upon hearing news of what had unfolded there.
He said: ‘I wish the emergency services and the police strength as they deal with the case, which will affect them deeply as well.’
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