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In a tragic incident, two three-year-old twins died by drowning in a washing machine in their house at Avantika housing complex, Rohini, Delhi, on Saturday afternoon. The police is investigating how both of them were able to climb inside the tumbler of the washing machine and drowned. 

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"It is possible that the children tried to peep in out of inquisitiveness but we are probing how they managed to climb to a height from which they could fall into the tumbler," said a police officer. Preliminary investigation indicated that it was an accident. 

The mother had switched on the washing machine -- semi-automatic and top-loading -- filled it with water and left a pile of clothes nearby. She had then stepped out to buy washing powder from the market. She reportedly returned in six minutes and couldn't find the children. 

The children were playing near the bathroom where the washing machine was kept. The door of the house was not locked when the mother stepped out to the grocery store. 

She looked for the children in neighbouring apartments and called her husband when she couldn't find them. The husband, a manager at a  private insurance company, returned to the house in 10 minutes and started looking for the children. 

The incident reportedly took place around 12.40 pm. The parents returned to the house by 1.10 pm and found the children lying head down in the water. 

"The couple returned home around 1.10 pm and checked the washing machine. To their horror, they found the children lying head down in the water," a neighbour, Jaya Sharma, told TOI.

The couple then pulled the children out of the washing machine and rushed to a private hospital where they were declared dead. The father then took then to Jaipur Golden Hospital in Rohini where doctors confirmed death due to drowning.

The neighbour, Sharma, had informed the police who reached the house. 

"We found 12-15 litres of water in the washing machine.Though the family does not suspect any foul play, a probe has been initiated," said M N Tiwari, DCP, Rohini.

Initial investigations revealed that the children may have climbed a bucket nearby and slipped into the washing machine. 

The family informed the police that they had been left alone near the washing machine before and nothing untoward had happened. 

The bodies of the children were taken to a government hospital for autopsy.