Retiree looking for durians dies after being stung by wasps
He had gone into forested area near Hillview MRT station to look for fruits
He had been picking fruits from forested areas in Singapore for years, but Mr Quek Lye Seng's most recent forage cost him his life after he was stung multiple times by flying insects.
On Friday at about 2.45pm, the retiree cycled to Hillview MRT station, as per his usual routine.
There, he parked his bicycle and walked into the nearby forested area to look for durians or rambutans to take home.
While busy doing so, according to his family, Mr Quek was believed to have accidentally disturbed a nest of wasps.
Chased and stung multiple times by the angry insects, the 66-year-old reportedly started struggling to breathe and felt dizzy.
He managed to stumble to the nearby MRT station, where he called for help from passers-by.
Someone called for an ambulance, which rushed him to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.
According to Mr Quek's son, the retiree was conscious when the ambulance arrived to take him to hospital.
Unfortunately, Mr Quek died later in hospital the same day.
He is survived by two sons.
One of his sons, who declined to be named, told The New Paper at his father's wake in Bukit Batok Street 25 yesterday that he saw his father in hospital but did not get a chance to speak to him as he was hooked up to life support machines.
He said that most of the information he gathered had come from the ambulance log.
"(My father) told them that wasps chased him," he told TNP.
He added that his father had grown up in a kampung and had been looking for fruits in forested areas since he was a child. He had never been injured in his forays.
He told TNP that his father went to the forested areas four or five times a week during the peak season for fruits.
According to Chinese language daily Lianhe Wanbao, Mr Quek sustained at least 30 stings on his face and head alone, and many more on his body.
His son told TNP that doctors said his father suffered an anaphylactic reaction, which is a severe allergy reaction that can cause difficulty in breathing and low blood pressure.
Dr Adrian Loo, group director, Conservation, NParks, said that NParks is aware of the incident.
He added: "Bee and wasp hives are found in trees, or on the ground in forested areas.
"They are part of the natural forest ecosystem, acting as pollinators. Depending on their species, they may sting if disturbed.
"NParks officers patrol designated trails regularly and will remove hives that may pose a risk to public safety.
"However, hives do occur deeper into the forest, away from designated trails and publicly accessible areas."
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