Shark bites teenage girl in two

Last updated 07:25 16/07/2013

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A 15-year-old girl was reportedly bitten in two in a fatal shark attack off Reunion Island in the French Indian Ocean.

The attack took place off Saint-Paul in the west of the island, which lies 700km east of Madagascar, the prefect's office said.

The girl, a holidaymaker from mainland France, was swimming a few metres from the shore on Monday (local time) when the shark struck and bit her in two, a local television channel reported.

Her sister was among those who saw the girl disappear under the water, the Daily Mail reported.

The teenager's body was sliced in two at the torso, and then ''a part of her body was taken away by the shark,'' the Mail reported Gina Hoarau, the head of public safety on the island, as saying.

''The girls were in an area of St Paul bay where swimming is not allowed. She would have died instantly.''

Huguette Bello, the mayor of St Paul, said: ''She was staying on the island with her father, who is in charge of the yacht club in St Paul.

''Both of the girls had masks and snorkels on, and were swimming just in front of the Bay restaurant.''

She is the first swimmer to be killed by a shark in the island's waters.

All the other victims of the 11 shark attacks recorded in Reunion since 2011 have been surfers. A 36-year-old female surfer was killed in an attack in May.

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