- POSTED: 24 Sep 2013 20:37
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Two young sisters were found dead in a bloody washing machine at a house in eastern China. Police have reportedly ruled out the grisly weekend discovery as murder.
BEIJING - Two young sisters were found dead in a bloody washing machine at a house in eastern China at the weekend, a newspaper reported Tuesday.
Local police in Jiangxi province have ruled out murder in the case, the Global Times newspaper said, citing the official Xinhua news agency.
Police also confirmed that the girls died of suffocation, though an autopsy is still in progress.
However, other domestic reports said police have not excluded the possibility of foul play in the death of the girls described as likable and aged between four and two.
They are said to have died on Saturday.
"The father found the girls curled up in the closed washing machine with a lot of blood when he saw the light on the washing machine was flickering," the children's grandfather was quoted by a Jiangxi-based online news portal as saying, according to the paper.
"The girls were swollen and had bruises all over the body," said a witness who was said to have helped take the children to hospital.
The witness was also quoted as saying: "There was a lot of blood in the washing machine."
The children's mother fainted when she heard about the deaths, the witness added.
According to a Chinese online news portal, five minutes before the parents realized the girls had disappeared, they heard a sound in the sitting-room, where the two girls were playing.
The father was watching TV in his room and the mother was cooking, the children's grandfather was quoted as saying by jxgdw.com.
In ruling out murder, police partly cited good relations within the family and no signs suggesting homicide, the Global Times said, citing Xinhua.
Police were unavailable for comment when contacted by AFP.
Online video reports showed an upright washing machine with a small chair placed next to it in the kitchen of the girls' home.
Many people on China's hugely popular microblogging websites raised suspicions about the deaths.
"The chair was very high. How could the babies get on it? It could be an intentional murder, who believes it's not?" said one netizen on Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter.
According to media reports, a relative of the two little girls called a police officer, who was also an acquaintance, on Monday morning, asking police to check whether the tragedy was due to a malfunction in the washing machine.
The Haier Group, the manufacturer of the washing machine, said the machine would not run under the conditions reported, according to an announcement posted on its official Sina Weibo account.
Haier also sent staff to Xinjian to help with the investigation.