Hiking group attacked by hornets: 5 airlifted to hospital

Five members of a hiking group were airlifted to hospital after they were stung by hornets in a mountain district of Hualien County today, Thursday.

The 11-member group had just departed on the first day of a planned 3-day hike to Dahui Mountain, and Nanerzi Mountain when the hornet attack occurred at around 11:00 am, 3.5 kilometers from the carpark at the trailhead near Xilin Village, Wanrong Township.

The team leader used a satellite phone to make contact with emergency services after two of the injured lost consciousness.

A National Airborne Service Corps helicopter was dispatched to carry Hualien County Fire Department paramedics to the site of the accident, and 5 people were airlifted to Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital in two sorties. The first flight carried the two most seriously injured: a 52-year-old woman, named Lee, and a 60-year-old woman, named Luo.

A sixth person who was also stung declined further medical treatment after receiving first aid.

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