A construction worker is dead after he was stung by bees that swarmed a Southern California construction site, Riverside Battalion Chief Tony Perna said.

Three construction workers were stung Monday morning when a contractor grading a parking lot struck an underground sprinkler control vault that housed a bee hive, Perna said.

Workers say the bees began swarming and the crew panicked and started to run. Two men covered their faces with their hands and rolled on the ground and a third swatted at bees with a vest.

One of the men had an allergic reaction and died after being transported to a hospital in critical condition.

The deceased worker was not immediately identified.