• Kyodo

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Four 13-year-old boys who died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a cave in the city of Kagoshima had air guns and knives with them and may have been playing an adventure game, police said Sunday.

The police said they found three air guns, numerous plastic air-gun bullets, five lighters and three utility knives in backpacks and travel pouches recovered from the cave, which is believed to be an old air raid shelter, on Sunday afternoon.

The cave has been often used by junior high school students to test each other’s courage, local school officials said, adding that they learned about it after talking with students about the incident, which occurred Saturday.

The bodies of Mizuki Nakano, Kazuki Moi, Satoshi Jitozono and Koshiro Kawagoe — all students at Takeoka Junior High School and members of the school tennis club — were found in the cave around 4:25 p.m. Saturday, police said.

Burned cardboard and other materials, as well as a cigarette lighter, were found near the cave’s entrance, they said.

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