A 70-year-old Portuguese man has died after he was attacked by a swarm of murder hornets while picking fruit in Portugal.
The victim, identified only as Celso by The Mirror, was picking persimmons with his friend Abilio Rodrigues, 60, when he was attacked by a swarm of the insects.
Celso’s friend, who was also hurt in the incident told the Portuguese daily Jornal de Noticias: “I’ve never seen anything like it… I went to cut the fruit from the tree and they attacked me.”
“They stung in the arm and on the head while I was on a ladder about 20 feet from the ground but I endured the pain so as not to fall,” Rodrigues’ said, translated by the Mirror. “Celso was also hurt and we went to try to get help. I put vinegar on my wounds to see if it eased the pain but by then Celso was having difficulty speaking.”
Celso died of cardiac arrest caused by anaphylactic shock after the attack despite repeated attempts to save him by paramedics. The nest was destroyed.
Celso is not the first victim of murder hornets in Europe this year. In September, Spaniard Antonio Rodriguez Loureiro was also attacked and died by the insects in northwest Spain, according to The Post.
Murder hornets, otherwise known as Asian giant hornets or Vespa mandarinia, have been making headlines this year after researchers found the first instance of these insects in the U.S.
The deadly meat-eating Asian giant hornets reportedly kill up to 50 people a year in Japan. Read our previous report in May about this.