Thodupuzha: A huge beehive gave way and many devotees were attacked by the swarm during the Makam festival of the Karimkunnam Karimpanakkavu Devi temple here on Saturday. As many as 70 persons, including women and children, were stung by bees. Two of the injured are said to be in a serious condition.

A giant beehive atop a silk cotton tree (Ilavu maram) situated on the temple premises gave way. Around 30 persons, who were stung by the aggressive bees, were taken to the local hospitals in Karimkunnam and Thodupuzha. Those who received serious injuries due to the sting sought treatment at the Thodupuzha hospital. Two aged persons are being treated at the intensive care unit.

The incident happened at 12 noon before the praasaadamootu. Over 300 people were present on the temple premises to attend the celebration.

A huge thriving beehive was present on the tree for a long time and there were totally 6 hives. They swarm the trees very often. The pongala at the temple began at 9.30 am and many womenfolk had gathered for it. Immediately after this, many devotees took part in the Makam Thozhal. When arrangements for the Praasadamootu was being held, did the huge hive created panic.

The bees flew helter skelter and the devotees got stung by the killer bees. Panic­struck people ran everywhere and some sought refuge at nearby homes and some ran long distances. Some even entered a nearby hospital. Though the reason on how the hives were wrecked is still unknown, most people say a wire that was connecting to the loudspeaker had done extensive damage to the hive

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