Five homeless children were found dead in a trash bin on Friday morning in Bijie, Guizhou, prompting a police investigation into their deaths, possibly caused by suffocation, Beijing News reported.
The bodies were found by an old scavenger in a sealable trash bin 1.5 metres tall and 1.3 metres wide, said a Bijie government’ news spokesman. The five children were all boys at age between seven and 13. None of the their identities have been established so far.
A preliminary investigation by police indicated they had died from suffocation, but it also ruled out the possibility of murder, the spokesman said.
Witnesses told police the children had taken shelter in the trash bin near a construction site for a couple of days before being found dead. They also said the children stayed in the bin, part of a crude shelter they had constructed from discarded materials found on the site.
Some nearby residents also said they had seen same children playing with a rubber ball they had found in the trash bin.
Police suspect the children might have been using the bin as a shelter to keep warm in. Local weather reports indicated drizzly weather in the city on Thursday and temperatures dropping to as low as six degrees Celsius.
Police were working together with the local education department to discover the children’s identity and inform their parents, city officials said.