Five homeless boys found dead in bin had probably suffocated

Tue, Nov 20, 2012, 00:00

Five homeless children have been found dead in a rubbish bin, where they probably suffocated while sheltering from the cold, authorities in southwest China have said.

The boys, aged about 10, were found by an elderly rag- picker on Friday morning, Beijing News reported. An initial investigation suggested they died of carbon monoxide poisoning, possibly due to burning charcoal inside the bin, which measured about 1.3m by 1.6m.

Temperatures had fallen to 6 degrees overnight; it is thought they had shut the lid to keep warm.

An official in Bijie, a city in mountainous Guizhou province, told the newspaper that police were still confirming the cause of the deaths but had ruled out murder. Residents said the boys had been living in a nearby shelter they built from a tarpaulin.

According to official figures, there are an estimated one to one and a half million children living without parental care, mostly on the streets of towns and cities, in 2008. – (Guardian service)