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Bees swarm rescuers after fatal lorry crash in Australia

Last update: 15:05 | 10/01/2018

Australian rescuers have recounted wading through bees after a lorry carrying millions of the insects overturned, killing a man and trapping another.

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About 200 beehives were being transported on the lorry, authorities say -- Photo: WA FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES


The driver died in the crash early on 13 December near Albany, Western Australia, while his passenger suffered serious injuries.

About 200 beehives were disturbed when the lorry rolled, authorities said.

The first responders endured a difficult effort to reach the survivor.

Volunteer firefighter Gary Webster, who arrived at the scene before dawn, said rescuers were stung several times despite wearing protective clothing.

"[The bees] would just land on you and forage around - and then they would just sting," he told the BBC.

Ignoring the pain, the crew worked quickly to remove the young man who was trapped inside. Mr Webster said the bees "became super active".

"Any little gap, any little [exposed] skin, there might have been ten of them on you, so you were just swatting them away and you can't concentrate," he said.

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Rescuers were stung on their faces, throats and hands -- Photo: WA FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES


He said his brother, who was another rescuer, "swelled up" after receiving stings to his face and was forced to go to hospital.

The operation took about 12 hours to complete and required a second crew of firefighters, the state's Department of Fire and Emergency Services said.

Beekeepers were later brought in to contain and recapture the estimated six million insects.

Source: BBC

Australia, fatal lorry crash, rescuers, bees, sting