“There were some people that the fish literally had torn bits of flesh from,” a medical official at the scene, Gustavo Centurion, was quoted as saying by the Latin Times newspaper.
Local lifeguards director Federico Cornier told the BBC and other broadcasters in the area that the attack was unusual in the number and ferocity of the bites.
“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,” Cornier said.
A 7-year-old girl lost a finger to the fish, and dozens of people suffered serious bites to their extremities, news agencies reported.
The incident occurred along the Parana River at Rosario, about 200 miles northwest of Buenos Aires.
Piranhas, a freshwater fish with sharp teeth, inhabit the rivers of South America. Several fatal attacks on humans have been reported in recent years, mostly in the Amazon River basin.
More Nation & World Headlines
Russia to send air-defense missiles to Syria 11:06 a.m. Why the media won’t say Donald Trump is lying Yet another study debunks the global warming ‘pause’ More than 400 will die on roads this weekend 2nd Paris attack was planned, official says Can a five-hour Alaskan train ride be compelling Thanksgiving viewing? So, a turkey wants into a church ... Uncle Sam flunks government, survey finds
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.