Three young children have died after their mother's car plunged into a lake near Melbourne in Australia.

The woman, from South Sudan, identified as Akon Guode, 35, and her five-year-old daughter Awel survived, although she is said to be in a serious condition in hospital.

The other children have been named as four-year-old Anger Mayang, her twin brother Madit and their one-year-old brother Bol.

Officers said one of the children died at the scene, one on the way to hospital and the other in hospital after the Toyota Kluger, plunged into the lake on 8 April.

The father of the younger children, Joseph Manyang, said he was shocked on hearing the tragic news.

"It is a big shock for me to get this information. It has happened to me, to lose three children at once. Especially the twins, because the twins are special to me, but the third one, Bol, is still shy, is one year-and-a-half, always we play together," he said.

Ms Guode is believed to have fled to Australia from South Sudan to escape the war following the death of her husband.

Police have asked anyone with information that could help their inquiries, to come forward.

A spokesman said: "We do need to understand what was happening in their lives and to understand what their movements were leading up to the incident."