Wasp attack: Woman dies after allergic reaction

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A 74-year-old grandmother died after suffering an allergic reaction when she was stung during an attack by a swarm of wasps in Essex.

Janette Duncan and her husband, George, were surrounded by the insects after a nest was disturbed near a pavement in Galleywood, near Chelmsford.

Mr Duncan collapsed and Mrs Duncan rushed to help him, but then collapsed, the Essex inquest heard.

They were rushed to the Broomfield Hospital, where Mrs Duncan died.

She died of cardiorespiratory failure.

At the inquest in Chelmsford, the Duncans' daughter, Amanda Moore, said: "Because of dad's brain tumour, my mum was more concerned for him and unselfishly went for help.

'Wasp attacks'

"Passers-by did everything they could to help and the ambulance and helicopter arrived very quickly. There was nothing more anybody could have done."

The couple were walking from their home in the village to the Galleywood Social Club when the tragedy unfolded at about 13:00 BST on 14 August.

Coroner Caroline Beasley Murray recorded a verdict of accidental death.

She said: "This was a sudden and unexpected death. It was a tragic death of woman who was much loved."

Outside the inquest, mother-of-two Mrs Moore said the wasps had attacked Mrs Duncan's face, leaving her with numerous stings.

She added: "I hope people realise how serious wasp attacks can be.

"People who are near wasps' nests or are aware of one on their property should be extremely careful.

"There is no way of knowing how you will react - if you have had one or two wasp stings before, you could still react badly if attacked by a swarm like this.

"Mum was my best friend, she enjoyed life and was football mad."

Mr Duncan was unable to attend the inquest as he is bedridden due to an unrelated condition.

The couple were both born in Glasgow and married in the city in 1960.

Mr Duncan is an ex-professional footballer who played for Glasgow Rangers from 1957 to 1960 before moving to Southend United.

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