|Police in east China said they recovered the bodies of the twin sisters from the sea on Monday. Qq.com|
By Phoebe Zhang
Pei Yuanjin and Pei Yuantong had been on a trip to a beach in Qingdao, Shandong province, with their mother on Sunday when the tragedy happened, a local television company reported.
The mother, who was not named, said the girls had been playing on the sand just a few metres from where she was sitting.
She said she had been checking messages on her social media accounts but had kept a close eye on the pair. It was only when she looked up a final time that she saw they had gone.
Police from the Huangdao district of Qingdao said in a statement on Weibo that following a search officers found the bodies of the two girls in the sea, the first at 11:30am and the second at 3:40pm.
The statement did not give an exact location for where the bodies were found, but said the children, who were due to start third grade at the end of the holidays, had drowned and that an investigation was ongoing.
The television report said that despite being dotted with "No Swimming" signs, the beach was popular with day trippers. It was also unregistered, which meant it was not manned by lifeguards or had a watchtower, it said.
In the wake of the tragedy, several local governments issued statements online warning of the dangers of swimming at unregistered beaches.