An entire city block was evacuated and four men hospitalized in Santa Ana, Calif., after a swarm of aggressive bees attacked on Thursday, authorities said.
The attack occurred after a hive of nearly 60,000 bees was disturbed in a stack of pallets at a storage yard just east of the busy Main Street in south Santa Ana.
The first victim was a man in a wheelchair who was apparently inside the storage yard with the hive when the attack happened.
He was attacked and stung over 60 times and had fallen out of the wheelchair and was yelling for help, Santa Ana Fire Capt. Steven Snyder told The Associated Press.
Three others rushed over to help pull the man to safety, but were also stung several times. They initially retreated before returning to rescue him.
They probably saved his life, Snyder told The AP.
All four reportedly suffered from anaphylactic shock, a serious allergic reaction to bee or wasp stings. Three were taken to Coastal Communities Hospital in Santa Ana, and the fourth was taken to Western Medical Center.
When firefighters from the Santa Ana Fire Department arrived at the scene, they shut down parts of the street and evacuated five nearby businesses. Two firefighters were also stung in the face, the Orange County Register reports.
The incident happened just before noon local time on Thursday and the streets were clear of bees by 2:30 p.m., according to the Los Angeles Times.
A professional bee-removal team later corralled the swarm and collected the hive. A DNA test is planned to determine whether or not the bees were of the Africanized variety, a potentially dangerous bee that's extremely aggressive when disturbed.
This is the second time in the past month that bees have forced a small-scale evacuation in California after chasing and attacking people. On Aug. 24, a 95-year-old man sustained hundreds of bee stings while walking on the street in Redondo Beach. Parts of the area were briefly shut down.
On Wednesday, Africanized bees swarmed several farm animals in Brisbee, Ariz., killing a 1,000-pound hog and putting an 800-pound sow in a coma.