Three young girls have been found dead at a South Island household, prompting New Zealand police to launch a homicide investigation.
Emergency services discovered the grisly scene after being called to a home in Timaru about 10pm (local time) on Thursday.
The deceased children are twin girls, three, and their sister, seven, New Zealand news outlet Stuff reported.
A fourth person, which Stuff reports is a woman and the suspected murderer, has been taken to Timaru Hospital.
Neighbours have told local media they heard a man screaming and crying, saying: "Is this really happening?"
Superintendent John Price is due to hold a media conference about the investigation on Friday afternoon.
Detective Inspector Scott Anderson said NZ police were "speaking with people from the address and no-one else is being sought at this time".
The deaths are the second tragedy in as many months to befall the South Island community.
Last month, five teenage boys were killed in a one-car crash in which only the 19-year-old driver survived.
— 1News (@1NewsNZ) September 17, 2021
That crash was the South Island's worst car accident in a number of years.
Timaru Mayor Nigel Bowen told the Otago Daily Times his city of about 30,000 had endured "layers of tragedy".
"I think the community will be thinking, why is it happening to a place like ours?" he said.
"There's a lot of pressures on society at the moment, you have to question the support around mental health.
"Are we doing things right in this country? I question that we're probably not."
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