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Volunteer dies after mass by Pope

A church volunteer has died after she was hit by scaffolding following a mass celebrated by Pope Francis in the central Philippine city of Tacloban.

Tthe 27-year-old woman was a volunteer with Catholic Relief Services and was among about 150,000 people who attended the rain-drenched religious ceremonies close to Tacloban's seaside airport, police said.

ABS-CBN television cited the medical director of the hospital where the woman was taken as saying she died from a skull fracture.

Local media reported the scaffolding was used as a loudspeaker platform and was toppled by a sudden gust of wind.

Vatican spokesman the Rev Federico Lombardi said the Pope was informed of the woman's death after returning to Manila. Francis cut short his visit to Tacloban because of an approaching storm that brought rain and strong winds to the city.

Francis asked his aides "to investigate how he could show his own suffering in solidarity with the (woman's) family", Mr Lombardi said.

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