Ferocious fish injure scores in Argentina

At least 60 people wounded as carnivorous fish tore "bits of flesh" from swimmers trying to escape heat in Parana River.

    Temperatures in the region soared to about 38 degrees Celsius [Getty Images]
    Temperatures in the region soared to about 38 degrees Celsius [Getty Images]

    At least 60 people were injured in the Argentine city of Rosario when they were attacked by a swarm of piranha fish, officials said.

    The attack happened off the popular beaches of the Parana River, 300km north of Buenos Aires, on Wednesday, a medical official said on Thursday.

    "This is not normal," said Federico Cornier, the director of emergency services in the city of Rosario. "It's normal for there to be an isolated bite or injury, but the magnitude in this case was great. This is an exceptional event."

    A seven-year-old girl had her finger partially amputated and dozens more suffered bite wounds on their extremities from a fish called "palometas," a relative of the piranha, said Cornier.

    Vicious attack 

    Health officials called the attack "very aggressive".

    "There were some people that the fish literally had torn bits of flesh from," Gabriela Quintanilla, health undersecretary, told reporters.

    Temperatures in the region soared to about 38 degrees Celsius, prompting thousands to seek relief in the Parana River, which is packed with carnivorous fish.

    Officials said the unusually warm weather was partly to blame for the the fish congregating on the river's surface.


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Life after death row: The pastor praying for Nigeria's prisoners

    The Nigerian pastor adapting to life after death row

    Clinton Kanu spent 27 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, but life on the outside feels far from free.

    What it means to love a dead child

    What it means to love a dead child

    You must forget all you thought you knew about grief when the landscape of your life has been demolished.

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    Kenya banned FGM in 2011, but Europeans still bring their daughters to underground clinics there to be cut.