Murder probe after mother and children fall from building in Germany
A general view of a house at the Old Saarbruecken neighborhood where the German police opened a criminal investigation after a 3-year-old girl died and her mother and 1-year-old sister were injured when they plunged from a building walkway. Harald Tittel/dpa

German police in the western city of Saarbrücken have opened a criminal investigation after a 3-year-old girl died and her mother and 1-year-old sister were injured when they plunged from a building walkway, a spokesman said on Friday.

Falk Hasenberg told dpa that murder and attempted murder were suspected, with the 38-year-old mother the suspect. The mother was seriously injured in the fall from a height of around 5 metres, while the second daughter was largely unhurt.

The woman is thought to have thrown her daughters off the parapet late on Thursday before jumping herself. The 3-year-old died of her injuries in hospital. Police believe the children were too small to be able to climb over the parapet's railing on their own.

Hasenberg said there were indications that the "mother suffers from psychological problems."

He described the scene as a walkway secured with metal railings linking the upper floor of an apartment building to a garden. The victims fell onto a hard surface.

The incident was first reported at around 9 pm (1900 GMT), when the father, the mother's parents and other relatives were in the home at the time. Police questioned all those present.

A general view of a house at the Old Saarbruecken neighborhood where the German police opened a criminal investigation after a 3-year-old girl died and her mother and 1-year-old sister were injured when they plunged from a building walkway. Harald Tittel/dpa