Portuguese firefighter dies in Castelo de Paiva after suspected Asian wasp sting

Image of an Asian wasp.

Image of an Asian wasp. Credit: Eduardo Dzophoto/Shutterstock.com

A firefighter died in Portugal on Tuesday, October 31, after allegedly being stung by an Asian wasp.

José Bessa is suspected to have suffered anaphylactic shock following the insect’s bite while carrying out agricultural work on a farm in the Castelo de Paiva region.

The 63-year-old member of the Castelo de Paiva Volunteer Fire Department is said to have raised the alarm personally at around 3pm.

Emergency services were immediately deployed to the location. These included the Volunteer Firefighters of Castelo de Paiva, a GNR patrol from Castelo de Paiva, the VMER of Feira, and a rescue team.

He was eventually pronounced dead at the scene

On arrival, José was reportedly already in cardiorespiratory arrest, according to a corporate source of SIC Notícias.

Despite personnel from the Feira Emergency and Resuscitation Medical Vehicle (VMER) administering resuscitation manoeuvres on him, José was eventually pronounced dead at the scene.

His body was subsequently transported to the Legal Medicine department of the Penafiel Hospital, where it was due to undergo a post-mortem examination.

Tributes were paid on social media

Described by his colleagues as ‘a person with a huge heart, very special to all of us’, there was an outpouring of tributes to the firefighter of 32 years on social media.

A message of condolence posted on Facebook by the Volunteer Firefighters of Castelo de Paiva: ‘fulfilled the painful duty of informing of the death of our 2nd Active Firefighter, José Bessa’.

‘We lack the words to describe the great man, the great friend, the great firefighter who leaves us today. He leaves an immense void in our home, in our lives, in the hearts of everyone who had the honour of knowing him and sharing stories and memories with him’, they wrote.

They added, ‘We will be eternally grateful to “Bessinha” for everything he gave to our cause and to our home’.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com