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A great-grandfather was stung to death by a swarm of wasps  because he accidentally disturbed a nest near his holiday home in Wales.

Clive Southall's head was so consumed by the mass of insects that his horrified relatives said they could "hardly see his face".

Southall, 83, who was stung hundreds of times, ran towards his family for help before heading to the shower in a bid to wash the wasps off.

But he collapsed and had to be flown to hospital. He died at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on the same day, from anaphylactic shock.

The retired service engineer, from Brierley Hill, Worcestershire, was at his holiday home at the Baxter Mill Caravan Park in Llanfair Caereinion, Welshpool.

During evidence given to an inquest at Telford Register Office, Southall's family described his death as a "tragic accident".

Mark Southall, 51, said his father and his granddaughter Ellie, 11, were clearing weeds along the Afon Rhiw riverbank near his holiday home about 11am on August 11.

Julie Hartridge, officer for Shropshire coroner John Ellery, who read out family statements at the inquest, said: "At some point during this work it seems Clive slipped and disturbed a wasp's nest.

"The wasps quickly swarmed upon him and he returned to his caravan to put his head under the shower in a bid to get rid of them."

His daughter Edwina Bruton, 58, who was in the mobile home, said she could hardly see her father's face because there were so many insects on him.

"Shortly after, he suddenly collapsed on the floor."

The family called 999 and paramedics performed CPR before flying him to hospital.

Jackie Morgan, 50, whose family have owned the Baxter Mill Caravan Park since the 1970s said Southall stumbled and fell on to the nest.

She added: "In all my time working here, nothing like this has ever happened before.

"We had no idea there was a wasp's nest there. His family are just devastated.

"Clive was a very likeable gentleman and he would do anything for anyone. He loved animals too. It's just so tragic."

Morgan described Southall's funeral, which took place on Wednesday, as "incredibly moving".

She said: "There's a real sense of this accident being terribly bad luck."

Southall is survived by his wife Marjorie, his son Mark and daughter Edwina, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Telford coroner John Ellery recorded a verdict of accidental death.


- The Telegraph