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Worker Dies After Swarm Of Bees Attacks Construction Crew In Riverside

RIVERSIDE ( — A worker died at a hospital Monday after he and two other people were attacked by a swarm of bees at a Riverside construction site.

Paramedics were dispatched to the construction site behind Wal-Mart at 5200 Van Buren Boulevard just before 10 a.m. after several people were reported stung in a bee swarm, Riverside police said.

"The crew was grading a space for a new parking lot and, unbeknownst to them, they ran their blade over an underground sprinkler box that housed this hive of bees," Riverside Fire Department Battalion Chief Tony Perna said. "The bees swarmed these guys and stung three of them."

According to Perna, one worker had an allergic reaction to the stingers and was transported to Parkview Community Hospital in critical condition. While he was conscious and talking immediately after the attack, officials say he later died.

Another man was treated at the hospital for moderate injuries, and a third was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Perna said two fire engine crews went to the location, but by the time they arrived, the bees had "subsided back to their hive."

Construction worker David Wolf said the bees swarmed two of the workers, one of whom tried to help his colleague by taking his vest off and swatting at the bees, diverting the attack. Other workers turned on a water truck in attempt to disperse the bees.

"It was insane," Wolf said. "It all happened pretty quick, really. They just kept splitting up and chasing all the other workers."

A crew was on scene Monday afternoon to remove the hive.

Authorities have not yet released the identity of the worker who died.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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