Seven people, including four children found dead in Western Australia

Seven people have been confirmed dead in an apparent murder suicide, making the Australia's worst mass shooting since Port Arthur in 1996

Police near the scene in Osmington, Western Australia (Photo: Australian Broadcasting Corp)
Police near the scene in Osmington, Western Australia (Photo: Australian Broadcasting Corp)

Seven people, including four children, have been found dead on a property in Western Australia after an apparent murder suicide.

The WA police commissioner, Chris Dawson, confirmed a “significant tragedy” had occurred on a rural property in Osmington, near the holiday town of Margaret River in the state’s south-west.

The death toll makes it Australia’s worst mass shooting since Port Arthur in 1996.

Authorities would not say how the victims died, but confirmed that two firearms were found at the scene.

There was no ongoing threat to public safety, police said. They would not confirm reports of a murder-suicide.

"The bodies of two adults were located outside [and] five bodies were located inside a building on the rural property," said WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson.

"It appears that gunshot wounds are there, but I don't want to go further than that."

The victims were most likely residents of the property, authorities said.

"I'm not in a position to release any further details about the identities of the deceased," Dawson said.

"The loss of any life is tragic, but four children and three adults - this is a significant tragedy."

He said police would launch a large-scale investigation, and were contacting relatives of those who had died.

"This devastating tragedy will no doubt have a lasting impact on the families concerned, [and] the whole community," he said.

Authorities were called to the scene at 05:15 local time (21:15 GMT on Thursday) after receiving a phone call from a "male person", Dawson said.

Osmington is a sparsely populated town about 20km from Margaret River, a popular tourism area.

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