[caption id="attachment_76479" align="aligncenter" width="600"] 60 swimmers victim of piranha attack on Christmas Day (movie still from Piranah 3DD Courtesy of Dimension Films)[/caption]Scores of Swimmers Attacked by Piranhas
The Paraná River, Argentina - Authorities are citing a convergence of two events for a massive piranha attack that left 60-70 swimmers with minor injuries.
The attacks were carried out by a type of piranha known as palometas.
Piranhas are known for their voracious appetites and their penchant to go into feeding frenzies on their prey. With that in mind, the palometas are known as being "aggressive". It is believed that local fisherman littered their fish debris in the river which ultimately attracted the palometas.
A transient shoal (shallow spot in a river) passed through a part of the river densely populated by swimmers. The two events set up a prime spot for a piranha attack.
The director of the Rosario lifeguards was quoted as stating that bathers suddenly began to complain of stinging bites on their hands on feet before the attack began.
What was really amazing to lifeguards and officials was that shortly after the attack ended, bathers were back in the river. Even though officials had closed the beach, the intense heat wave was to much for people to bear.
The director of the lifeguards, Federico Cornier stated that the attack was not normal in this magnitude. It was an “exceptional event”.
While Canadians and Americans are dealing with winter chills, Argentinians are sweating it out in 100 degree weather. On the day of the attack, many people went into the river to cool off. No one lost their life in the attack, but most suffered cuts or had pieces of their flesh bitten off by the razor sharp teeth of the palometas. Among the victims were 20 children one of whom lost the tip of a finger. Piranha attacks are common in this river and swimmers are cautioned to swim only in spots known for their relative safety.
The attack was the most serious of its kind in the city since 2008 when 40 swimmers were hurt.
According to Yahoo News, those injured in the attack Wednesday by the ferocious fish included a girl who lost part of a finger.
Local government spokesman Ricardo Biasatti described the attack as a rarity.
He said: ‘This sort of event in this area is absolutely sporadic. It was the conjunction of two factors, a shoal that passed very briefly through an area full of people.’
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