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from CNN Custom News (AP)

Awakened Chimps Go on Rampage, Attacking Construction Crew

Mar. 19, 1998 >> 2:07 am GMT

Awakened Chimps Go on Rampage, Attacking Construction Crew AP 18-MAR-98

Eds: LEADS throughout to CORRECT that worker received scratches while fleeing, sted from chimp. No pickup.

NARBONNE, France (AP) Chimpanzees at a wild animal park in southern France attacked a noisy construction crew that woke them up, mauling one worker so badly he needed 30 stitches in his face and neck.

Another worker escaped by jumping into a pond; five other park employees hid in a walk-in freezer until Tuesday's attack was over.

The work crew had been fixing the ceiling of an empty animal shelter early Tuesday morning when it inadvertently woke up the chimpanzees, who were in a nearby shelter, park officials said.

One of the chimps broke through a window, and seven other animals followed behind. The chimps fell upon the workers, ripping open one man's cheeks and neck.

Another worker scratched his hand when he jumped into a pond to get away, police said.

The chimps then charged the park's office building, breaking some windows. Five employees in the building hid in the walk-in freezer for an hour until firefighters arrived.

Authorities eventually used a tranquilizer gun to subdue the chimps.

© Copyright 1998 The Associated Press..

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