December 27, 2013
Piranha-Like Fish Injure 70 Swimmers in Argentina
By Ben Romans
A school of carnivorous fish attacked approximately 70 people (including 20 children) swimming in Argentina’s Parana River this past Wednesday. A story from the Latin Times says that while no one was killed, there were numerous injuries reported, including a 7-year-old girl who lost a finger.
The river is reportedly a popular swimming area, and home to the palometa, a type of piranha with large, sharp teeth. Minor palometa attacks have been reported in the past, but officials say they’ve never seen an attack of this scale before.
“There were some people that the fish literally had torn bits of flesh from,” a medical official at the scene, Gustavo Centurion said.
It’s estimated that at the time, over 1,000 swimmers were in the water trying to escape Argentina’s 100 degree summer heat, and a combination of warm water and bait left by local fishermen drew the fish to the surface.