Thirty-eight kids at a Catholic school in Cocoa Beach appear to be the biggest Florida victims of Hurricane Irene. Strong winds caused by Irene swept through the sleepy beach town yesterday, knocking over a hive of possibly "Africanized" bees, who then attacked the schoolchildren.
At about 12:45 p.m. yesterday, Irene's winds knocked over the beehive on the campus of Our Saviour Catholic School and all hell broke loose.
Thirty-eight students were stung, and one student was stung six different times. Most of the children were six or seven years old. The bees pursued the children even as they tried to take refuge in the cafeteria.
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"Some of the students still had bees in their clothing when they came inside," G.C. Wine, interim chief of the Cocoa Beach Fire Department, told Florida Today. "They came out of the hive and attacked (the firefighters) ... It's a very aggressive hive."
Several parents showed up early to collect their children. Authorities were watching to make sure that none of the victims showed signs of an allergic reaction.
The bees showed behavior that indicates they may be "Africanized" honey bees, but that's yet to be confirmed.