File photo: Reuters

Johannesburg - Two children in Mthatha died from smoke inhalation after their father allegedly locked them in their flat with a burning candle, Eastern Cape police said.

The children, aged five and eight, were locked inside the flat at the Universe Flats in Fort Gale on Tuesday night, Warrant Officer Dineo Koena said.

Apparently there was no electricity in the area, and the father lit a candle before he left them overnight.

“When he got back in the early hours of Wednesday morning, they were dead from the smoke,” Koena said.

No arrest had been made and police were investigating.

An inquest docket and a case of arson were opened, she said. -Sapa