ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Twin girls born attached at the chest just over a month ago died Friday at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, a hospital spokesman said.

Joseph Costantino, community relations director at the hospital, said Ciara and Tiara Simpson died from inflamation and infection of the intestinal tract.

The twins were born three weeks prematurely on March 31 to Izella Anderson at St. John's Mercy Medical Center, Costantino said.

They had been progressing well and doctors planned to partially separate them through surgery on April 23, Costantino said. But the day before, he said, one of the infants suffered a perforated intestine and infection that required emergency exploratory surgery.

Costantino no attempts were made to separate the twins before their deaths.