| PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil – Twenty swimmers were injured after being attacked by a school of palometas, a type of piranha. The attacks took place on Sunday, in Balneario Passo do Angico, a tourist center in the Central Region of Rio Grande do Sul state in southern Brazil.
According to lifeguards who work in the bathing area of the Toropi River, the attacks began about 4:30 pm. According to the Fire Department, the palometa fish (Chloroscombrus chrysurus) is carnivorous and similar to the piranha.
More than a thousand people were swimming at the site when the attack began, causing a panic and driving the bathers from the water. According to the manager of the resort, many of those attacked suffered minor injuries, like cuts to the toes and hands. The victims were treated at the local Fire Departments Toropi and Sao Pedro do Sul.
The site was reopened to swimmers on Monday morning, but is being monitored by lifeguards. Some people in the dressing rooms said that there were no reports of new attacks as of 10:30 am. Firefighters belive the fish attacked bathers due to low water levels at the resort and food shortages.
Source(s) for this article: G1 RS