Two stung to death by honeybees at funeral site

One of the two was son of the man whose last rites were being performed.

Two people died after being stung by honey bees in the tribal-dominated Mangrol taluka of Surat district Monday night while they were attending the funeral of a man who was father of one of them.

Chhana Vasava (40), whose father's final rites were being performed, and Phoolji Vasawa (55), a resident of the village, were stung by bees at Varsavi village after a beehive was disturbed by the rituals performed at the funeral of Ishwar Dahya Vasawa, who had died Sunday after a prolonged illness.

According to tribal rituals, when a corpse is carried for final rites and is buried, family and friends of the deceased burst fire-crackers at the burial site and at the deceased's home. In keeping with the tradition, people at the funeral procession burst crackers and played the drum after the corpse of Chhana's father had been buried. This disturbed a beehive and bees stung around 30 of the 200 people participating in the funeral, of which six are now admitted in a hospital.

The victims were rushed to a private hospital where Chhana was declared dead by doctors while seven other patients were sent to a referral hospital at Vyara. Others were discharged after primary treatment.

Phoolji Vasawa, who was among the ones referred to another hospital, died in the hospital on Tuesday.

According to doctors, honeybees discharge poison in the people they sting and that Chhana had multiple sting injuries that led to his death. Phoolji also had multiple honeybee stings.

Mahesh Vasava, a member of Mangrol Taluka Panchayat and resident of Varsavi village, said, "This is first such incident we have seen in our life."

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