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Castro injured in fall

HAVANA, OCT. 21. The Cuban President, Fidel Castro, fell down while leaving the stage after a televised speech on Wednesday night, hurting his knee and arm but quickly recovering his composure to tell Cubans he was otherwise "all in one piece".

Mr. Castro (78) was shown on live television after his tumble, sitting in a chair at the outdoor event in the central city of Santa Clara, a three-hour's drive east of Havana.

Holding a microphone, he said, "Maybe I broke my knee, and maybe an arm ... but I am all in one piece." Mr. Castro's condition was not immediately known. People watching television could not see what happened after Mr. Castro wrapped up the speech at a graduation ceremony for arts instructors and left the stage. Television viewers only saw several of his security men running, evidently to assist him.

Concrete step

An Associated Press photographer at the scene said Mr. Castro tripped on a concrete step after he finished walking down the wooden stairs from the stage, then fell onto the ground, first hitting his knee and hip, and then his elbow and arm.

He was immediately surrounded by security agents and others who rushed to help him up. As he has grown older, Mr. Castro's knees have seemed to bother him more and his step has seemed less steady. — AP

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