An Arizona man died and several others, including three firefighters, suffered injuries after they were stung repeatedly by a swarm of bees from a massive hive Thursday.
Police and fire rescue officials in the city of Marana, located just northwest of Tucson, were called to respond to reports of a bee swarm, during which “at least six individuals were stung multiple times during the incident,” the Northwest Fire District said in a Facebook post.
“Three patients, believed to have been stung hundreds of times, were transported for or received medical evaluation,” the department said.
Officials updated the post later on in the day to inform the community that one adult male, whose identity has not been released to the public, had died as a result of the attack.
The fire department added that three of its firefighters “were stung multiple times while dispatched on the call,” with one taken to a local hospital after he was believed to have been stung roughly 60 times.
The department said that the firefighter has since been released, and that the other two emergency responders did not require medical attention.
According to the post, the swarm of bees appeared to have originated from a large, open hive located in a nearby tree that emergency officials estimated to be about 100 pounds.
The Marana Police Department had posted a message on Facebook warning community members to avoid the area as police and fire officials worked to address “a large swarm of bees.”
Police later updated the post to announce that bee handlers had “killed most of the bees and have removed the hive.”
“Although the area is much safer, there are still some lingering bees,” the department added. “Please continue to use caution while in the area.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are generally an average of 62 deaths caused by hornet, wasp and bee stings each year.
A 2019 CDC report said that from 2000 to 2017, there were a total of 1,109 deaths from stings, with roughly 80 percent of the fatalities among males.