Construction worker dies after bee swarm attack in Riverside

A swarm of bees attacked construction workers in Riverside on Monday after their hive was disturbed, leaving one worker dead and two others injured, fire and hospital officials said.

The construction crew was working in the 5200 block of Van Buren Boulevard about 10 a.m. when the attack occurred, according to the Riverside Fire Department.

Workers grading the site for a parking lot “hit an underground sprinkler vault,” Battalion Chief Tony Perna said. “They didn’t know it was there and it housed a beehive.”

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The bees swarmed and attacked “the nearest three to five people,” Perna said.

One victim was taken to Parkview Community Hospital in critical condition and died, according to hospital spokeswoman Marlene Burnett.

Burnett said she could not comment on the victim’s identity or cause of death. It was not clear whether the person died on the way to the hospital or after arriving there.

One of the other workers was taken to a hospital with moderate injuries, and a third had minor injuries and was treated, fire officials said.

The bees returned to their hive shortly after the attack, according to the Fire Department. Perna said the bees were not allowed to remain at the site, but he did not know whether they were relocated or killed.

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