Hungry rat shreds more than $17,500 of cash inside ATM in India

This picture taken on June 19, 2018, shows shredded Indian currency notes in 2000 and 500 rupee denominations after being eaten by rats in at ATM in Tinsukia in India's northeastern Assam state.
AFP | Getty Images
This picture taken on June 19, 2018, shows shredded Indian currency notes in 2000 and 500 rupee denominations after being eaten by rats in at ATM in Tinsukia in India's northeastern Assam state.

At least one money-hungry rat broke into an ATM and chewed through nearly $18,000 in cash, authorities in India said.

Officials at the State Bank of India (SBI) thought the machine was merely malfunctioning when patrons told them it was no longer dispensing money.

It was "out of order" since May 20 — then technicians opened it.

Chandan Sharma, manager of the SBI branch in the town of Tinsukia in the northeastern state of Assam, told reporters "they were shocked to find shredded notes and a dead rat."

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Reports estimate the destroyed banknotes at between 1.2 and 1.3 million rupees ($17,662 to $19,000).

Police superintendent Mugdha Jyoti Mahanta said the rat entered the machine through a hole intended for cables.

SBI has more than 50,000 ATMs spread across the country, Reuters reports.