(CNN) — Eight children have been found dead at a home in a suburb of the northeastern Australian city of Cairns, police said Friday.
Police said they were called to the property in the Manoora area Friday morning after reports of a woman with serious injuries.
“During an examination of the residence, police located the bodies of the children, all aged between 18 months and 15 years,” the Queensland Police Service said in a statement.
Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar sought to allay fears among local residents about the deaths.
“There’s no need for the public to be concerned about this other than it’s a tragic, tragic event,” he told reporters near the crime scene, adding that the area had been secured and was being well-patrolled.
“These events are extremely distressing for everyone,” Asnicar said. “Police officers aren’t immune from that. We’re human beings as well.”
The woman, who is believed to be in her mid-30s, is being treated for her injuries and is helping police with their investigation, according to the statement. She’s in stable condition and is not under police custody, Asnicar said.
At this stage, he said, police haven’t so far been able to establish the relationship between the woman and the children or the relationships of the children with each other.
The road has been blocked off and the crime scene locked down, police said, with officers from criminal investigation, child protection and crime scene units at the scene.
Specialist police officers will also be arriving from Brisbane, another city in Queensland, Asnicar said.
“This is not a small job. We’re not taking this lightly at all,” he told reporters. “We will cover every angle before this is finished.”