Indonesian performer bitten by cobra on stage, keeps singing for 45 minutes before she dies

A snake handler (left) tries to help the singer after she was bitten by a king cobra on stage.
A snake handler (left) tries to help the singer after she was bitten by a king cobra on stage.PHOTO: SCREENSHOT FROM YOUTUBE VIDEO
Indonesian folk singer Irma Bule.
Indonesian folk singer Irma Bule.PHOTO: SCREENSHOT FROM YOUTUBE VIDEO

An Indonesian folk singer carried on performing for 45 minutes despite being bitten by a venomous snake, before collapsing on stage and dying three hours later.

Irma Bule, 29, was attacked midway through her performance by the king cobra in the village of Karawang, West Java, on Sunday (April 3) evening.

The "dangdut", or Indonesian folk music, performer was well-known for using reptiles in her acts and thought the king cobra, called Rianti, had been defanged.

"In the middle of the second song, Irma stepped on the snake's tail. The snake then bit Irma in her thigh," eyewitness Ferlando Octavion Auzura told the Merdeka website.

"The effects were felt 45 minutes after the bite. She vomited, had seizures, and her body seized."

Irma, who had also used boa constrictors and pythons in previous acts, refused the offer of an antidote, according to reports. She was later confirmed dead in hospital.

Police say they are investigating the incident and have asked people in the audience for information.

King cobras can grow up to 5.5m and are found in India, South-east Asia and southern China. They are one of the deadliest animals on the planet; the venom in a single bite is enough to kill an elephant, or 20 people.