Special Report filed by AAF Correspondent: Bill MayAnimal Attack Files Special Report
from The Staights Times, Singapore

      Bees attack students playing football
They also chase students of French school into schoolbus off Dempsey Road. Nine people were stung


November 18, 2000

A GAME of football turned into terror for a group of students when they were suddenly attacked by a swarm of bees yesterday.

Thirty-five students from the French school, Lycee Francais de Singapour, aged between eight and 11 years, were playing at a field in Loewen Road, off Dempsey Road, when they came under attack.

One of the boys, a 10-year-old, told The Straits Times that the incident took place when one of the players stepped accidentally on a beehive that had fallen onto the field.

The group, including three teachers, sprinted to the safety of their bus, but the bees pursued them inside.

They ran to the nearby Tanglin Military Medicine Institute for shelter.

By then, nine of them, mostly students, had been stung on their arms, legs and ears.

Four -- three students and teacher James Crosbie -- were taken to the National University Hospital.

Four hours later, three of them were discharged but one remained in the hospital for further treatment.

The boy who was interviewed said he flung off his jersey to escape the onslaught of the bees, but he was still stung on the eyelid and an arm.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) rushed two ambulances to the site after the incident was reported at 2 pm.

Mr Rene Vialle, vice-principal of the school, said his students had to play football at Loewen Road yesterday because the school sports field was under renovation.

Those students who were not hurt returned to the school at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, where anxious parents had gathered after being told about the attack.

On Sept 11, a cabby, Mr Chuang Lip Keng, 51, died after he was attacked by a swarm of hornets at Marina South.

Bees and wasps, though quite common here, do not normally attack unless their nests are disturbed.

Anyone who comes across a nest can call the police.

Copyright © 2000 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.

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