18 Jul 2009

Pope breaks wrist in fall

9:35 am on 18 July 2009

Pope Benedict XVI has fallen and broken his right wrist while on holiday in northern Italy.

The Vatican said he accidentally slipped during the night in his chalet.

Before going to hospital he celebrated mass and had breakfast. He walked to hospital in the town of Aosta and left after an operation under local anaesthetic that lasted about 20 minutes.

A hospital spokesman said the operation was successful, but the Pope, 82, would have to wear a cast for about a month.

The ANSA news agency says he insisted on being treated like any other patient and waited his turn for an X-ray.

The Vatican said it was the first time Pope Benedict had been treated in hospital since his election in 2005.

The BBC reports he has been staying at a house in the village of Les Combes in the Valle d'Aosta region. It was a favourite vacation spot of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II.