A mum suspected of killing five of her children but spared her eldest son before trying to kill herself has been pictured for the first time.
The 27-year-old woman, named as Christiane K in German media, is suspected of killing five of her six children in Solingen.
She is then said to have boarded a train with her surviving child, named as Marcel, before trying to commit suicide by throwing herself in front of a train at Dusseldorf station.
She is in hospital in a serious condition.
Marcel is said to have been unharmed and continued travelling on the train to his grandma’s house in Monchengladbach.
German railway operator DB said there were closures in Dusseldorf because an emergency doctor had been needed on the track.
Police said the children’s grandma alerted them to the tragedy at 2pm and ambulances rushed to the flat.
Rescuers themselves were said to be traumatised by what they found in the building, and also shocked by the state of the family’s living conditions.
One report claimed rescuers had tried to resuscitate the children but were already dead.
It is not clear if the surviving child witnessed any of what unfolded in the apartment.
The dead children are three girls aged one and a half, two and three years old, and two boys – Luca, eight, and Timo, six, and they are believed to have been killed with tablets, RTL reported.
Stefan Weiand, a police spokesman at the house, said it was a ‘tragic situation’ and the mum was not yet in a fit state to be questioned.
He said: “We are assuming a crime was committed. How and why that happened, we cannot say.
“At the moment, we assume that the 27-year-old mother was responsible.
“The mother threw herself in front of a train in Dusseldorf and is badly injured.
“At the moment she is being treated in hospital.”
North Rhine-Westphalia Interior Minister Herbert Reul told RTL: “The family drama in Solingen fills me with great sadness, and at the moment I am with my thoughts and prayers with five small children who were torn from life so terribly early.”
Jürgen Hardt, a member of the German parliament, said: “I wish the emergency services and the police strength as they deal with the case, which will affect them deeply as well.”
German police are investigating the children’s deaths, with dozens of officers and a fleet of emergency vehicles outside the building.
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