A walk along Mississippi River Boulevard left 15 people stinging after a swarm of wasps attacked a group of children and two caregivers near the area where firefighters performed a cliff rescue in early August.
Two day care providers from A Child's View were walking with 11 children between the ages of 3 and 5 at about 11 a.m. on Wednesday when the sunny, autumn stroll took a turn no one expected. A swarm of wasps attacked the group, sending them fleeing to a nearby home by Hartford and Randolph avenues.
"It was terrifying," recalled Kathy Parten, who witnessed the aggressive and territorial wasps chase the children. "The kids were all screaming and crying."
Paramedics were called to the home, but the wasps were still attacking the group. Two of the emergency responders were stung while the adults struggled to scrape and swat the wasps away from the children.
"They were following us," St. Paul firefighter Mike Paidar told FOX 9 News. "We were trying to get away from them. We were carrying the children away from them and getting the bees off -- and we finally had to get them in our medical rig and drive away."
At first, the group refused medical treatment for their stings, but paramedics took one young girl to the hospital because she had received about 30 stings, according to St. Paul Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard.
"We picked her up and they were coming out of her coat and her hair -- coming out of her shirt," Paidar said. "She had little pants on, and they were everywhere."
The girl is now back home where she is "resting uncomfortably," but the other kids seemed to take it in stride.
Officials say the wasps attacked in the area where firefighters had accidentally disturbed a hive during a rescue on Aug. 5. Several rescuers were stung then after a 21-year-old woman fell about 30 feet down a bluff along the Mississippi River.
Crews were able to rescue her successfully, but the nest was disturbed as they cut brush away to get a stretcher up the ledge.