Company officials in charge of what is being called an illegal construction site in China have been taken into custody after four young boys were discovered dead at the bottom of a pit on Saturday.
An investigation is underway.
The boys were found under a metre of earth in the pit, which had no barriers or warnings around it, reports newspaper Global Times.
The tragedy occurred in Yuanyang county in central China’s Henan Province, and news of it dominated social media in China over the weekend.
A preliminary ruling by county officials said the boys, aged between five and eleven, died from suffocation.
Global Times said it was alleged that they fell into the pit.
According to reports, two of the boys were brothers, one was their cousin, and the fourth was their neighbour.
Prior to the tragedy, locals had complained that the construction project had not received approval.
According to Global Times, "relevant authorities were investigating the matter".
Image: Screenshot of the Global Times story yesterday