Skip to content

Yikes: California boy, girl lose fingers in game of tug-of-war

Feb 5, 2013, 11:21 AM EDT

tugofwar Getty Images

It happened at South El Monte High School (near Los Angeles) earlier this afternoon, when two students suffered severed fingers during a game of tug-of-war. It isn’t known how many were participating in the lunchtime Spirit Week activity, but my guess is quite a lot.

Doctors are currently trying to re-attach the fingers, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. That report did not say how many fingers each student lost, but Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center spokeswoman Rosa Sacca said they both lost four fingers each from their right hand, and the girl also lost the thumb on her left hand, according to the Associated Press.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports that the girl is a senior on the soccer team and the boy is on the football team.

“Fingers (were) amputated during some type of tug-of-war,” Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Miguel Garcia said. “They were transported by ambulance to a trauma center.”

The students were taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center after their fingers were torn off, Fire Department officials said.

“They are both stable and the parents were by their bedside,” said hospital spokeswoman Rosa Sacca. “They were getting ready to be taken to the operating room to try to re-attach the fingers.”

Tug-of-war injuries are not uncommon, unfortunately, and can sometimes be horrific. In 1997, two men in Taipei, Taiwan each lost an arm during a game of tug-of-war at a national festival.

  1. comebackid - Feb 6, 2013 at 1:21 AM

    How does this happen?

  2. skids003 - Feb 6, 2013 at 7:51 AM

    Now the liberals will want to ban ropes.