Miracle to survive accident: injured Argentine footballer

Buenos Aires, Feb 12 (IANS) Argentine footballer Diego Mendoza has said “it was a miracle” there were not more serious consequences after the bus carrying Club Atletico Huracan overturned in Venezuela.

“Upon getting out (of the bus), I saw I was missing part of my heel and I couldn’t walk any further. I also saw Pato (Patricio Toranzo) walking around because he wanted to help but he couldn’t. The two of us and the professor (Pablo Santaella) were the worst affected, but that was a miracle,” said Mendoza on Thursday, reports Xinhua.

The forward scored the last-minute goal in Tuesday’s match against Caracas Football Club which allowed his team to go through to the group stages of the Copa Libertadores de America, is still in hospital in Venezuela due to his injuries.

“Today I woke up and felt happy to be alive,” Mendoza said while giving details of the accident.

“The bus gained speed as we went down the mountain and hit other cars. Suddenly, I saw the driver was coming off the highway to take another road and I remember I could only see the mountain and the sky. I thought everything was over. I thought we were falling (off the cliff),” said Mendoza.

After the bus overturned, Mendoza’s left foot got stuck in between the glass from the bus window and the rocks from the mountain, added the player. He was injured while removing his foot from this position.

The player confirmed he has not damaged any ligaments and hopes to return to playing very soon.

Club Atletico Huracan arrived in Buenos Aires on Thursday aboard Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro’s private plane.

Footballers Mendoza and Toranzo are still in hospital in Venezuela. Toranzo had to have four toes on his left foot partially amputated. Physical trainer Pablo Santaella has also been kept in hospital after an operation on a fractured pelvis.

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