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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

SHARK ATTACK! Sharks pour down on tourist.

This is a scarey story...

ONE minute, she was admiring the sea life in a huge glass tank at the Sydney Aquarium.

Seconds later, Perth visitor Hazel Swinden was on her back, surrounded by sharks and fearing for her life.
Mrs Swinden, 61, told yesterday of the dramatic moment when a 12,500-litre tank "exploded" as she stood in front of it, showering her with glass, saltwater and sharks.

"I tried to get up because I knew there were sharks in the water," Mrs Swinden told the District Court. "The water was up to my chest when I was sitting. I looked out to the side and I saw a big, black shape swim down the side of me. It went around my feet. It was a shark."

Mrs Swinden is suing Sydney Aquarium following the February 1997 incident, in which the special exhibit tank ruptured, scattering black and white-tipped reef sharks and smaller fish across the floor.

She claims she now suffers "flashbacks" and post traumatic stress disorder, and was forced to give up her job as a Myer sales assistant because of leg injuries she received from shattered glass. Barrister Chris Branson QC told the court Mrs Swinden had little warning before the huge tank burst.

"Suddenly, and unexpectedly, a glass viewing panel exploded," Mr Branson said.
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