Peng Fan, a chef, was making snake soup. The main ingredient in the soup was the Indochinese spitting cobra – a venomous snake. Fan had already chopped the snake’s head off, and it had been separated from the body for about twenty minutes. When Fan went to discard the head – it bit him.
The fast-acting venom started to work. Fan died before anyone could get anti-venom to him. A police spokesman said that the incident to very unusual, but does appear to have been an accident.
The only thing that could have saved Fan’s life was the anti-venom. There were customers at the restaurant the day Fan died. Most of them did not finish their meals once they learned what had happened.
Yang Hong-Chang, a snake expert for more than 40 years, says that reptiles can function for nearly an hour after losing their body parts. Basically, snakes are still able to kill you even after you think you have killed them by chopping off their heads.
The venom will first cause paralysis and then asphyxiation. If the venom from an Indochinese spitting cobra gets into your eyes, you will be permanently blind. This is a sad and tragic accident.
It is hard to imagine that this was the first time Fan had made this soup.
One simple lapse in judgment can cause serious illness and death. Don’t take anything for granted. Don’t be complacent. Just because you have done something a ‘million’ times doesn’t mean accidents won’t happen.