A swarm of 40,000 “very aggressive” bees attacked police and firefighters Friday afternoon, forcing the closure of a street in Pasadena, California, CNN reports.
A police officer and two firefighters were among five people sent to the hospital with multiple stings following the 4 p.m. incident, in which swarming bees filled an entire block on Colorado Boulevard, KTTV reported.
“We have firefighters who have been working here for many, many years, and they said this is by far the most bees they’ve seen at one location,” said Lisa Derderian, spokesperson for the Pasadena Fire Department, the Los Angeles Times reported.
A professional beekeeper removed a large hive from a nearby Howard Johnson Hotel, The Pasadena Star-News reported.
“Something set them off, some activity, noise, vibration… it’s hard to tell what,” said Dave Williams of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association, KTLA reported. He said the colony may have included Africanized bees.
Authorities closed part of Colorado Boulevard, KCBS reported. Hotel guests and students at nearby Pasadena City College were warned to stay inside.
One of the first firefighters to respond to the scene suffered 17 stings, CNN reported. Two other people also were stung but did not go to the hospital.
Firefighters sprayed the hive with water and carbon dioxide from a fire extinguisher before calling in Williams to remove the hive, KTLA reported.