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Chef Dies After Severed Cobra Head Bites Him

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Meals using cobra meat are considered a delicacy in China and other parts of Asia. (Photo by ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images)

Meals using cobra meat are considered a delicacy in China and other parts of Asia. (Photo by ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images)

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LONDON (CBS DC) – A Chinese chef preparing a meal of snake meat died after the snake’s severed head bit him, reports the Daily Mirror.

Peng Fan was dicing the Indochinese spitting cobra for a soup that is a delicacy in Asia.

The serpent was still alive when Peng cut its head off, but when he tried to throw the head into the garbage, the mouth snapped shut and injected its deadly venom into the unfortunate chef.

“It is a highly unusual case but it appears to be just an accident,” said a police spokesman. “He prepared the snake himself and was just unlucky.”

Peng was rushed to a hospital but died before he could be given an antidote.

Diners described hearing screams from the kitchen.

“There were calls for a doctor in the restaurant but unfortunately by the time medical assistance arrived the man had already died. After we heard that we did not continue with our meal,” said Lin Sun, who was celebrating his wife’s birthday at the restaurant.

Snake expert Yang Hong-Chang tells the Mirror that post-mortem snake attacks are not unknown.

“It is perfectly possible that the head remained alive and bit Peng’s hand,” he said. “By the time a snake has lost its head, it’s effectively dead as basic body functions have ceased, but there is still some reflexive action.”

There is an increasing demand in China for snake products, both for food and medicine.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

 

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