Eight Children Found Dead In North Queensland
Eight children are dead and a woman is in hospital after a multiple stabbing in far north Queensland.
Police have confirmed the victims are aged between 18 months and 15 years.
Emergency crews were called to a home on Murray Street in the Cairns suburb of Manoora, around 11.30am on Friday.
A 34-year-old woman has been taken to hospital and is assisting with police inquiries but is not under arrest.
Cairns Regional Crime Co-ordinator Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar could not rule out that the number of deaths may rise.
The street has been cordoned off and a crime scene will remain in place for at least the next day, Det Insp Asnicar told reporters at the scene.
It was an "extremely distressing" scene for the first response officers, he said.
Detectives are speaking with neighbours and police have not yet established the relationship between all of the children and the woman.
The 34-year-old's cousin, Lisa Thaiday, told AAP at the scene the children were all siblings.
The woman was their mother, she said.
Ms Thaiday said another sibling, a 20-year-old man, arrived home to find his brothers and sisters dead inside the house.
He is now being comforted by other family members.
"I'm going to see him now, he needs comforting," Ms Thaiday said.
She described the family and extended relatives as close-knit.
"We're a big family and most of us are from the (Torres) Strait," she said.
"I just can't believe it. We just found out (about) those poor babies."
About 20 to 30 people, including neighbours and locals, could be seen to be visibly upset and comforting each other at the scene.