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Italian Aircraft Carrier with Brazilian Aid Dispatched to Haiti

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An Italian aircraft carrier, carrying a hospital ship and 74 Brazilian military and civilian volunteers, was dispatched to assist the earthquake rescue efforts in Haiti Thursday morning.

The Cavour, which sailed from northeatern Brazilian city Fortaleza on a mission to search for and rescue injured people and support ground troops, is expected to reach Haiti by February 1 or February 2, almost three weeks after the earthquake.

According to the Brazilian Navy, the vessel has on board 63 Brazilian military personnel, among whom are 25 health professionals from the Brazilian Navy, and 11 civilians -- five doctors and six nurses -- who were selected by the Ministry of Health from 7,000 professionals who applied on the Ministry's website to participate in the 30-day humanitarian aid mission.

Besides carrying modern medical equipment such as CT scanner, the carrier is also equipped with a 35-bed emergency hospital, in which complex medical procedures can be performed. Six helicopters including a UH-14 Super Puma and a UH-12 Squirrel which belong to the Brazilian Navy are also on board.

(Xinhua News Agency January 29, 2010)

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