28 Feb 2014

Swarm attack puts nine in hospital

6:10 pm on 28 February 2014

Nine people are in hospital after an attack by wasps or bees at Tahunanui Beach near Nelson.

A 61-year old grandmother who was supervising the group from Nelson's Victory Primary School has been admitted to Nelson Hospital in a serious condition. Eight children aged seven and eight are being treated in hospital for minor injuries.

Other children were sent to local GPs or collected by parents.

Victory's acting principal, Wendy Taylor, has praised the children involved for being calm, sensible and brave.

St John Ambulance paramedic Matt Wilkinson says the children were on a school treasure hunt trip when it seems one of them disturbed a nest at the back of the beach. He says two ambulances were called to the scene shortly after midday on Friday.

Mr Wilkinson says the hospitalised woman had a severe allergic reaction and nearly 20 children were stung - some up to six times. But it's still unclear, he says, whether the insects were bees or wasps.