June 11, 2015

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) Three teenage synchronized swimmers from Austria were injured Thursday when they were hit by a shuttle bus in the athletes village on the eve of the inaugural European Games, Austrian Olympic officials said.

Two of the three girls - all 15 years old - were being flown home to Austria after being treated in the intensive care unit at a Baku hospital. The third was released with minor injuries.

The Austrian Olympic Committee said Vanessa Sahinovic had multiple fractures and other severe injuries, while Luna Pajer received arm injuries. Verena Breit ''got off lightly with slight injuries,'' the committee said.

''The girls were walking on the sidewalk of the Olympic Village when a shuttle bus hit them,'' the Austrian committee said, adding that the incident happened at 8:30 a.m.

''We're shocked about the accident and took all necessary steps right away,'' AOC's secretary general Peter Mennel said in the statement.

Uliya Gurbanova, a doctor at the Baku city hospital which treated the three, told The Associated Press by telephone that Sahinovic and Pajer were taken to the airport by Azerbaijani doctors and had already left on a flight to Austria.

The organizing committee for the games, BEGOC, said that its medical services ''responded to an incident this morning at the transport hub within the athletes' village in Baku which led to three Austrian athletes being immediately transported to hospital.''

''BEGOC places the safety and welfare of all athletes as its number one priority.''

The opening ceremony of the games will be held Friday, with the first competitions starting Saturday.

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This story has been corrected to fix the spelling of Pajer.

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