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Conjoined twin dies after surgery

A baby girl who was surgically separated from her conjoined twin in Chile has died, the director of a children's hospital has said.

Hospital director Osvaldo Artaza said Maria Jose Paredes Navarrete died on Sunday night due to general organ failure.

Doctors separated her on Tuesday from her twin sister Maria Paz, who continues clinging to life.

The 10-month-old twin girls were separated at the thorax, abdomen and pelvis. Maria Jose ran a greater health risk due to cardiac problems which had required her to be revived three times since the surgery.

Doctors at Luis Calvo Mackenna Hospital had separated Maria Jose and Maria Paz in a marathon, 20-hour surgery.

Maria Jose ran into cardiac problems that required her to be revived three times, and Maria Paz remains clinging to life, said hospital director Osvaldo Artaza.

Chileans have closely followed news about the girls, with updates about their condition making online and newspaper headlines.

Mr Artaza said the surgery affected all of the deceased girl's organs. "We are conscious that we made every effort," Mr Artaza said. "It's a moment of deep pain, of deep grieving."

The twins were born in the town of Loncoche, about 470 miles south of the capital Santiago, and had spent their entire lives under hospital care. They underwent seven surgeries before Tuesday's procedure, in which 25 surgeons and anaesthetists participated.

A hospital statement said Maria Jose had suffered "a flaw in the right side of the heart as a consequence of pulmonary hypertension that afflicted her since her birth". The statement said Maria Paz was in a stable condition, with her kidneys starting to function.

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