Hikers attacked by bees north of Tucson

Hikers attacked by bees north of Tucson

Five hikers, including a 6-year-old boy, were attacked by bees Sunday morning as they hiked Linda Vista Trail, near North Oracle Road and East Calle Concordia.

The boy was stung more than 100 times by the bees, and the other four hikers, all male, were estimated to be stung more than 150 times, said Deputy Jesus Bañuelos, a Pima County Sheriff’s Department spokesman.

The child was alert and responsive during the rescue, Bañuelos said.

“It appears the bees came out of nowhere and attacked them,” said Bañuelos.

Golder Ranch Fire District firefighters called the sheriff’s department shortly before 10 a.m. requesting assistance in the rescue, Bañuelos said.

Three deputies arrived within eight minutes with bee suits and began hiking up the trail to reach the group who were on a rock formation, making it difficult for rescuers to reach them, Bañuelos said.

A medical helicopter assisted the deputies by hovering over the area where the hikers were, and the chopper also helped disperse the bees, said Bañuelos.

When deputies reached the rock formation, they gave the bee suits to the hikers, who were still being stung by the bees, Bañuelos said.

The chopper could not land in the rough terrain. The boy was carried out and taken by ambulance to University of Arizona Medical Center-University Campus. Two others were taken to Oro Valley Hospital, and the other two refused to be taken to a hospital, said Bañuelos.

Everyone was reported to be in stable condition.

Southern Arizona Rescue Association and Golder Ranch Fire District firefighters assisted in the evacuation. Deputies cleared the scene at 11:20 a.m.

This is among several bee attacks in the Tucson-area and Southern Arizona in recent weeks. One climber died last week from a bee attack.

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