Two siblings from Kyrgyzstan suffocated to death after they accidentally locked themselves inside a refrigerator while playing hide and seek.

The incident took place when brothers David, 6, and Nikita, 4, were playing the game in their home in the village of Mikhaylovka in eastern Kyrgyzstan's Issyk-Kul region. While Nikita counted down out of sight, his elder brother hid inside an old fridge that was abandoned in a courtyard near their residence after the appliance broke down, Daily Mail reported. 

The authorities believed that once Nikita was able to find David’s hiding place, he chose to join his brother in the refrigerator. The brothers did not have knowledge of the automatic locking system of the appliance. The type of fridge was particularly popular in the Soviet era and was specially built so that it could not be opened from the inside.

After the brothers activated the automatic lock, they were trapped inside and could not climb out despite their best efforts. The cause of their deaths was the eventual loss of oxygen inside the air-tight appliance.

Following the siblings’ disappearance, their parents, 28-year-old Roman and his 27-year-old wife Yulia, searched the entire village. Failing to find them for hours, they alerted the police. Authorities scanned the victims’ house as well as the courtyard before they discovered the missing kids.

“The parents became worried after they had not been hearing the voices of their children for a while and started searching for them. The children were last seen playing in the courtyard near their house. Five hours later they were found in the fridge,” the police said.

Although the parents tried performing CPR to resuscitate their children, it was of no use. “They could not open the fridge from inside and died of suffocation,” the police added.

The incident was being investigated as an accident. The exact date and timeline of the incident were not known.