A 27-year-old mother is suspected of killing five of her children in the western German city of Solingen, police said on Thursday.
The woman was later severely injured after she climbed onto the tracks at the main train station in the nearby city of Dusseldorf in an apparent suicide attempt.
The dead children were three girls aged one and a half, two and three years, and two boys aged six and eight years. The woman's 11-year-old son survived and has been placed with family members.
The chldrens' grandmother had contacted the police shortly before 14:00, officials told.
They later found the five children dead in an apartment complex in Solingen's Hasseldelle district, home to many large housing developments dating back to the 1970s.
Several emergency service vehicles were parked in front of the apartment building and a large nearby area was cordoned off by police.
A forensic expert walks out of the apartment where children were killed. Photo: Oliver Berg/dpa
Cause of death unknown
The police have not released any details on the cause of death.
The mother is believed to have traveled to Dusseldorf main station with her 11-year-old son, where she threw herself in front of a train at 13:47.
According to a fire department spokesperson, the woman was found between two track beds and taken to hospital.