Argentina Reporting — 31 December 2013

Translated from La Razon Digital

thumbnail photo from Barcelona magazine

70 people, including 7 minors, were attacked by a school of palometas, carnivorous fish from the same family as piranhas, while they bathed in the Parana river in the Argentine city of Rosario, according to official sources. (Editors notes:  these are not the same as the salt-water game fish of the same name.)

“We had to treat about 70 patients, the majority of whom had slight injuries, ” said Frederico Corner, director of the Emergency Health services of Rosario.

Among the most severely injured were a 7 year old girl, who lost an index finger, and an adult who lost a toe, said Cornier.

The attack occurred on Christmas day along the traditional beaches of Rambla Cataluna, where approximately 9,000 people had gathered to seek relief from the heat wave that is pounding central Argentina with temperatures in excess of 38 degrees C (104 F).

Other bathers were treated for broken bones in their feet, ankles, and hands, said sources from the Integrated Emergency Systems (SEIS) in this city, located 300 km west of Buenos Aires.

“The Palometa is a species normally found  at this time of the year, but usually in another part of the river,” said Ricardo Biasitti, Undersecretary of the Department of Natural Resources, seeking to alleviate concerns.

“Attacks of this magnitude are unprecedented, except some years ago there were some sporadic attacks.” added Biasiiti in a statement on Channel 8 television.

Palometas are a carnivorous fish, very aggressive and with sharp teeth, that swim in schools and sporadically appear on the riverbanks in Parana, especially when temperatures are high.




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