"Her face was completely covered with bees." So said a captain with the Orange County Fire Authority of a woman who was stung more than 200 times on Monday. Cpt. Tony Bommarito tells NBC Southern California she was essentially covered head to toe. The scene in Lake Forest was so bad that responders opted against protocol and didn't suit up in protective gear before coming to the aid of the woman, identified by KTLA as a 48-year-old named Maria.
They used carbon dioxide spray in an attempt to get the bees to release and carried her, "barely conscious," from the scene. A paramedic and three firefighters suffered stings themselves, two badly enough to be briefly hospitalized themselves. As for the primary victim, the Orange County Register reports she's a housekeeper who had gone to get cleaning supplies from her car, which was parked near the hive. She is expected to survive. NBC Southern California describes a bee company as later "removing buckets full of bees and beehives from the area." KTLA reports the removal company estimated the hive held as many as 80,000 bees. (This hiker died after being smothered by bees.)