A 9-year-old boy died in a Kampot province hospital Sunday, five days after he was stung more than 30 times by hornets, Teuk Chhou district Governor Se Da said on Tuesday.
Ou Ban and his mother Touch Mao were travelling along a road in Samroang village, Chum Kriel commune, when they passed a palm tree supporting a hornet’s nest, Se Da said.
A strong gust of wind sent the nest crashing to the ground, releasing a swarm of angry hornets that promptly attacked the boy, his mother and a group of nearby children.
Most of the children escaped after suffering only one or two stings, but Ou Ban bore the brunt of the attack. His mother sustained three stings.
“Children here often provoke the hornets by shooting stones and slingshots at their nests, but this is the first time that hornets have killed anyone in my district,” Se Da said.
Chum Kriel commune chief Hay Seng said Tuesday that the boy was taken to the Kampot provincial hospital in critical condition shortly after the incident, but despite trying for five days, doctors at the hospital failed in their efforts to save his life.
“The doctors tried hard to save him, but his condition was very serious,” Hay Seng said. “Just two or three stings from this type of hornet can cause fever for several days, and this boy was stung more than 30 times.”
Hay Seng said Ou Ban was due to be cremated Tuesday evening, and that the boy’s family and friends were still in shock after the strangest death in the village’s recent history.