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Injured American tourist taken off life support, said to be 'awake and alert'

A 51-year-old American tourist who sustained life-threatening injuries when a powerful firecracker exploded in a crowded church courtyard during Easter celebrations on Saturday on the southeastern Aegean island of Santorini, was taken off life support on Thursday.

Doctors at the Venizeleio University Hospital in Iraklio, Crete, said that they have brought the 51-year-old woman out of an induced coma following extensive abdominal surgery and taken her off life support. The woman, whose name has not been made public but is reported to be from Texas and currently living in Romania, is "awake and alert," according to a statement from the hospital quoted by the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency.

Her husband, Chris Presmyk, told NBC's Dallas-Forth Worth News on Wednesday: "We thought it would be normal fireworks, but of course it was homemade explosive devices... we were watching from the side and the explosive devices, they got bigger and louder, so there was a gentleman in front of us who said we should back away, and so we turned to do that, and immediately there was an explosion behind us, that was very loud and very close."

Authorities in Santorini have arrested five people in connection with the incident, in which another six people, including Chris Presmyk and two of the couple's friends, were injured.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday April 24, 2014 (15:00)  
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