LAKE FOREST, Calif. (CBS) — A 52-year-old cleaning lady and four firefighters were hurt Monday after they were attacked by a swarm of Africanized bees, leaving the woman in critical condition.
The woman had arrived to clean a home in the 23000 block of Buckland Lane in Lake Forest just before 10:30 a.m. when she was attacked by a swarm of bees, according to Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Tony Bommarito.
According to witnesses Maria was in the house with the other three cleaning ladies when she decided to come outside to get a mop. She opened up the trunk and as she was looking in she turned and that’s when the bees hit her.
There was so many bees that when firefighters arrived they couldn’t even see her face.
“She probably had a few hundred if not a thousand bees just embedded into her hair and crawling all over her face,” said Orange County Fire Authority Firefighter Ryan Wilson.
There were as many as 80,000 bees in all involved in the attack.
Maria was stung more than 200 times.
Opting not to wait for special suits to protect them from the bees, the firefighters rushed in with a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher they typically use for grease fires, Bommarito said.
“They determined they needed to get that patient away from the bees, so they sprayed them with a carbon dioxide extinguisher and in the process all four got stung, two multiple times,” the captain said.
Maria was transported to Saddleback Medical Center in critical condition, Bommarito said.