European Games: Vanessa Sahinovic in coma after collision

Vanessa Sahinovic
Vanessa Sahinovic, 15, was flown home to Austria on a private jet belonging to Azerbaijan president Ilham Aliyev

Synchronised swimmer Vanessa Sahinovic is being kept in an induced coma after she and two other team-mates were hit by a bus at the European Games in Baku.

The 15-year-old suffered multiple bone fractures, including her spine, in Thursday's incident and doctors cannot yet rule out potential paralysis.

Sahinovic, from Austria, underwent 10 hours of surgery in Vienna after being flown from Azerbaijan.

A hospital spokesman said further surgery would be necessary.

Her injuries are not life-threatening, doctors have said.

Asked if paralysis was possible, Austrian team press officer Wolfgang Eichler said: "The doctors in their statement are telling us it's possible, but they need another week before they are sure about her condition, that is a normal scenario we are being told."

The arm injury suffered by Luna Pajer, who was also flown back to Austria, is said to be "more complicated" than first anticipated.

Verena Breit is back in the athletes village having been released from hospital on Thursday.

Eichler added: "Vanessa underwent a very long operation having arrived back in Vienna on Thursday evening and we believe the operation has helped to stabilise her condition.

"Our team doctor here in Baku is in constant contact with the team back in Vienna and we expect to be in a position to provide more information about the extent of the injuries to the respective athletes in due course."

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