29 Jun 2009

Europe's oldest person dies at 113

8:21 pm on 29 June 2009

The oldest person in Europe, Italian Lucia Lauria, has died at in the village where she was born, news agency ANSA reports.

Mrs Lauria passed away in Pietrapertosa, in the southern Basilicata region of Italy, aged 113, three months and 24 days.

She returned several days ago to the village where she was born on March 4, 1896, and died early on Sunday.

Mrs Lauria is survived by two children, both aged over 80, one who used to spend part of the year with her and a second who has emigrated to the United States.

She was considered the oldest living person in continental Europe.

A Frenchwoman, Eugenie Blanchard, is actually several weeks older than Lauria, but lives in Guadeloupe, an overseas department of France in the Caribbean.

The crown of oldest living person in Europe now passes to 113-year-old Englishwoman Florrie Baldwin, who was born on March 31, 1896, according to a ranking compiled by the Gerontology Research Group.

The oldest living person in the world is American Gertrude Baines, who is aged 115.