Several candidates sitting the ongoing Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams and their invigilators were injured after a swarm of bees invaded Mahmoud Bin Fadhil Boys Primary School in Lamu on Wednesday afternoon.
The incident occurred at around 2.15pm, some minutes after the candidates started their Kiswahili Insha paper.
Over 50 candidates were injured, five seriously.
The injured candidates were rushed to the King Fahad County Hospital for treatment.
The exam had to be delayed for about 20 minutes as the over 100 candidates were transferred to the neighbouring Lamu Mahmoud Bin Fadhil Girls Primary School where they continued with the test.
One of the invigilators who was interviewed by the Nation and who declined to be named, said they had to run to safety following the attack.
“We have around 102 KCPE candidates here at Lamu's Mahmoud Bin Fadhil Boys Primary School plus another 12 private candidates. They had just began their Insha exam which normally takes 40 minutes. They were about halfway when a swarm of bees emerged from nowhere and started attacking them,” said the official.
Mr Omar Anafolly, a private candidate at the exam centre, said Wednesday was a bad day for them.
Mr Anafolly said the private candidates were kept in separate classrooms far from the other candidates since the exams began on Tuesday.
He said they were alerted of the incident by screams from all over the school compound.
“I could see everybody, including our invigilators, supervisors, police officers and the candidates running helter-skelter. I followed them after realising that bees had invaded the institution. There was nothing we could do. Our invigilators and supervisors told us to run towards Lamu Girls Primary School where we secured some classrooms and completed our exams,” said Mr Anafolly.
NO CAUSE FOR ALARM
Pupils who attempted to seek safety in other classrooms are reported to be the ones who were stung the most.
Contacted, Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia confirmed the incident but said it was only one candidate who suffered serious injuries from the bee stings.
“Yes. It’s true. A swarm of bees stormed Lamu Mahmoud Bin Fadhil Boys Primary School as candidates were doing their exams. One candidate was badly injured and taken to the King Fahad County Hospital for first-aid treatment. The rest sustained minor injuries. We’ve already made efforts to chase away the bees and we expect the pupils will this morning proceed with their remaining exams in the same institution. There is no cause for alarm. All is well,” said Mr Macharia on Thursday.