Residents of far north Queensland are in shock after the bodies of eight children were found following a multiple stabbing in a suburban Cairns home.
The children, aged from 18 months to 15 years, were found this morning in Murray Street, Manoora, where a woman was also located with chest and neck wounds.
Police said they believed the 34-year-old was the mother of seven of the children. They said she was in a stable condition in Cairns Hospital and was helping with their enquiries.
Relatives and neighbours were in tears as news of the tragedy spread and police and emergency service workers were visibly distressed by the confronting scene.
The Premier and Prime Minister have both offered messages of support to the local community.