New Delhi:  Alone at home for a few minutes, three-year-old twins climbed inside a washing machine filled with water and drowned on Saturday afternoon in west Delhi’s Rohini.

Police said their mother had set out to wash clothes but figured she had run out of washing powder. She left the two boys - named Nishant and Nakshya - alone playing by the washing machine and stepped out of their apartment to get some detergent.

When she came back six minutes later, she could not find the children. About 20 minutes later, the police were called in.

Amid a frantic search, it was their father who had rushed home from work, found the children inside the washing machine, submerged in water.

The boys were rushed to a hospital where they were declared brought dead. The parents took them to another hospital as well but there too the children were declared brought dead.

The bodies of the boys have been sent for an autopsy.

"The family is inconsolable. The bodies have been sent to Baba Saheb Ambedkar hospital in Rohini for postmortem. Inquest proceedings under Section 174 (police to inquire and report on suicide) of CrPC are underway," said a senior police officer.