Emergency services were called to a school in western Germany after multiple students complained of wasp stings. The students were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment.
A wasp attack at a school in the western German city of Lüdenscheid sent at least 16 students to the hospital.
Emergency services were contacted by the Adolf Reichwein secondary school at 10:45 local time (08:45 UTC) after several students complained of wasp stings during recess. A fire department spokesman told DW that all the students were between the ages of 12 and 15.
Ambulances took 13 of the students to nearby hospitals. Eleven of them received emergency treatment at the Lüdenscheid clinic, the hospital confirmed in a statement, asking parents not to come to the hospital.
A hospital spokeswoman told the local news website come-on.de most were being treated for minor injuries, while one remained under observation due to a known wasp allergy. The students would also need to undergo a COVID-19 test at the hospital.
Why the wasps attacked remains unclear. The playground was closed off after the incident so that an exterminator could remove a nest. The school, which has around 1,200 students, said it sent all of them home at 13:00 local time.
Lüdenscheid, with a population around 75,000, is located around an hour's drive northeast of Cologne.
Wasps are protected in Germany under the Federal Nature Conservation Act, and deliberately disturbing, capturing, injuring or killing them without reasonable cause can carry fines between €5,000 and €50,000.
However, people who are allergic to wasp stings are entitled to kill the insects if they feel they are in danger.