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One man died and two other people had to be treated at the hospital after a swarm of bees attacked them in the Tucson, Arizona suburb of Marana at about noon on Thursday. According to police, the bees came out of a 100-pound open hive within a tree in a backyard.
Police say a group of three people who were near the area were stung hundreds of times. Three more injuries, bringing the overall total to six, were suffered by responding firefighters who were dispatched to the scene. One of those firefighters was stung roughly 60 times and needed to be treated at a hospital. They have since been released.
In a Facebook post put up late on Thursday, police said bee handlers killed and removed most of the insects and their hive.
“Although the area is much safer, there are still some lingering bees,” said police via statement. “Please continue to use caution while in the area. Several people were injured and one person has passed away due to their injuries.”
It’s not yet clear what type of species the bees were.
A CDC report from 2019 said 1,109 people in the U.S. died from wasp, hornet, and bee stings from 2000 to 2017. That breaks down to an average of about 65 per year. Deaths have been on the rise since 2012, with the highest total on record being 89 fatalities in 2017. The CDC numbers also showed about 80 percent of victims were men.