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Originally published Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 3:00 AM

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Unattended, 5 boys in China die from suffocation

Chinese state media say five unsupervised boys aged 4 to 6 have suffocated after lighting a fire in an abandoned barn in southwestern China.

Associated Press

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BEIJING —

Chinese state media say five unsupervised boys aged 4 to 6 have suffocated after lighting a fire in an abandoned barn in southwestern China.

The official Xinhua News Agency says four of the boys were found dead in the barn Monday in Majiang county in the southwestern province of Guizhou, and that the fifth boy died later in a hospital. A Majiang official confirmed the report Tuesday. He declined to give his name.

Xinhua said a preliminary investigation showed the boys burned hay in the mud-brick structure, which had only one exit. It said the boys were left unsupervised because their parents were helping with a local wedding.

Last November, five runaway boys died in a garbage bin where they sought shelter and warmth, also in Guizhou.

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