SANTA ANA (CBS) — Authorities say three men risked their own lives Thursday to save a man in a wheelchair who was attacked by a swarm of bees.

The man was in a junk yard at 2610 S. Cypress Ave. about noon when he apparently disturbed a nest of bees, Santa Ana Fire Capt. Steve Snyder said.

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“He was attacked and stung over 60 times and had fallen out of the wheelchair and was yelling for help,” attracting the attention of three bystanders who ran to his aid, Snyder said.

The bee attack was so fierce that the three good Samaritans, all in their 40s, had to back off initially, but they dove back in to pull the other man to safety, Snyder said.

All four patients had difficulty breathing and suffered rashes, nausea and vomiting, Snyder said. Their injuries were serious and potentially life-threatening, the captain said.

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Three of the men were transported to Coastal Community Hospital, including the man in the wheelchair, Snyder said. The fourth man was taken to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana because Coastal Community was too stacked up with patients, he said.

The captain called the rescue “very impressive.”

“They probably saved his life,” he said.

The names of the men were not immediately available.

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