A man from Austria has died after being stung by a swarm of hornets that attacked him in a wooden hunting stand in the mountains.
The 58-year-old hunter – identified by media only as Erich K. – reportedly stood no chance against the aggressive hornets after they attacked him in the hunting stand on Friday evening, 19th August.
K. – who was a professional furniture maker – was hunting in the Poppendorf-Bergen area in the town of Heiligenkreuz im Lafnitztal, located in the Austrian state of Burgenland, when the unexpected incident happened.
He was eventually able to find a hiding place and escape the horde, but not without being stung multiple times in the incident, which would later cost him his life.
Officials said: “Erich called a colleague by cell phone and briefly told him what had happened.”
Emergency crews rushed to rescue the hunter, who they found lying motionless on the ground when they arrived.
A C16 emergency helicopter flew him to a hospital in the town of Gussing, where he succumbed to his injuries shortly after.
K.’s death was taken with great sorrow in his hometown and the surrounding area.
A friend of his – whose identity was not disclosed – said: “Erich was a man with 100 percent handshake qualities. His tragic death hits us all hard.”
Another good friend added: “We will miss Erich terribly!”
Mayor of the Heiligenkreuz Municipality Eduard Zach said: “This tragedy has shaken us all. The whole community mourns Erich. He was full of life, reliable, helpful and popular everywhere because of his affable manner.”
Initial investigations revealed that there was a hornet’s nest near where K. was found lying on the ground last Friday.
A local inspector said on Sunday, 21st August: “There are two cable holes in the wood on the back, which serve as an entrance and exit for the insects. They buzz around wildly. The hornets react immediately to jerky, fast movements. No one dares to get too close to them.”
Firefighters wearing protective suits later removed the nest, according to local media.