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Shark attacks reported at Texas’ South Padre Island; 2 people bitten, at least 1 severely

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas — Shark attacks disrupted Fourth of July celebrations Thursday at South Padre Island as two people were taken to the hospital with bites, at least one of them severe, authorities said.

Police were called for the attack on the man who was severely bitten around 11 a.m., according to Nikki Soto, the South Padre Island city secretary. He was initially treated at the beach by firefighters and police.

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department said later in a statement that two people were bitten and two more “encountered” the shark but were not seriously hurt. One of the bite victims was taken to a hospital in Brownsville, and the other was “flown out for further treatment.”

Game Warden Capt. Chris Dowdy said that based on witness reports and images on social media, authorities believe a single shark about 6 feet long was responsible.

Soto said beach patrol, firefighters, and police were patrolling the shore and flying drones after the attacks.

The last reported shark attack in the area was five years ago, according to Dowdy.

Texas Parks & Wildlife is assisting with the investigation.