Fire officials say victim was stung more than 500 times
Tuesday, September 7, 2010 2:16 AM EDT
ATTLEBORO - It was like a scene from a Hollywood horror movie, except it really happened.
A 53-year-old Division Street woman was seriously injured Sunday after falling onto a wasp nest and being stung more than 500 times, fire officials said.
The woman somehow fell outside her home at 40 Division St., and yellow jackets swarmed over her entire torso, Fire Capt. Tim Birch said.
Firefighters worked to pull the woman away from the highly agitated wasps, then protected the woman and themselves.
They used a carbon dioxide chemical fire extinguisher in an attempt to blast the insects away, which worked to an extent, but they were never totally successful in removing the bugs from the woman or themselves, Birch said. Rescue crews had to deal with yellow jackets even inside the ambulance, and once the unidentified woman was taken to Sturdy Memorial Hospital, hospital staff then had to handle yellow jackets in the emergency room.
The woman is recovering in the hospital's Intensive Care Unit, Birch said.
Three firefighters had to be treated by paramedics for stings as well.
Interviewed outside of a house fire at Parker Street Extension Monday night, Birch said he was still dealing with the effects of the stings and said he would rather deal with a house fire any day than with pesky swarms of yellow jackets.
Fire officials said they went back to the yard looking for the hive, and couldn't find it. They believe that it is buried underground somewhere.
Last summer, a swarm of angry yellow jackets stung a Norton resident an estimated 100 times when he was attempting to install an air conditioner and pulled off a cover over an air-conditioning space in the wall, ripping open a nest.
The resident of Norton Glen Apartments, who was in his 60s, wasn't taken to the hospital, opting to seek his own medical treatment after being treated by rescue personnel at the scene.
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