Nearly 40 people have been treated in hospital after being attacked by a swarm of bees.
Terrified locals abandoned their cars in the middle of the street after the insects flew through car windows in the moving traffic.
A huge swarm of bees attacked almost 40 people
Drivers abandoned their cars as the swarm hit traffic in Melo, Uruguay
Beekeepers were called in to destroy illegal hives
Some victims were stabbed dozens of times as they attempted to flee on foot.
The swarm struck yesterday afternoon in central Melo, a town in Uruguay near the border with Brazil.
Police confirmed that 37 people, including eight children, were taken to the emergency room for treatment.
Officers took many of the patients to the hospital in their squad cars while colleagues closed city center streets to ensure no one else entered the danger zone.
One of those involved in the drama told local press: “My son was running like crazy but was still stabbed about 15 times.
“A lot of people were desperate.
“They abandoned motorcycles and cars. I had my car windows down when a swarm of bees appeared out of nowhere and walked in.”
The scare has been attributed to two beehives allegedly being kept without permission at a house near where motorists and pedestrians were stung.
Beekeepers in hazmat suits were called out to remove the hives with poison and make the area safe.
One of the experts who helped remove them said: “People were kept out for about an hour.”
Local journalist Silvia Techera said: “I saw people running everywhere and heard a lot of sirens.
“Shopkeepers closed their doors.
“I never thought it would be because of the bees. They seemed very angry.
“Cars, motorcycles and crash helmets were parked in the middle of the street.
“Eventually the bugs started attacking me too and I took refuge at my radio station.”
It wasn’t immediately clear today why the bees had gone on the attack, but experts said they may have been stressed by sounds like a car horn beeping.
Two of the stung children are said to have stayed in the hospital overnight.
A severe allergic reaction to bee stings is potentially life-threatening.
A small percentage of people stung by a bee quickly develop anaphylaxis with symptoms such as swelling of the throat and tongue.
In May, we told how a swarm of 15,000 bees caused terror when they filled a residential street in Tyneside, UK, in just 15 minutes.