A pop star in Indonesia has died after being bitten by a cobra during a stage performance. Irma Bule, 29, was singing at a gig in a village in Karawang, West Java on 3 April when the incident occurred.
The popular singer was known for her unique genre of music known as ‘dangdut’, a genre of Indonesian folk and traditional popular music that is partly derived from Hindustani, Malay and Arabic music. Her performance usually involves using props such as snakes. She had previously danced with pythons and boa constrictors. The cobra she was dancing with on this occasion, called Rianti, had not been defanged.
The entire tragic incident was captured on video. It is understood she was bitten after she accidentally stood on the snake after performing her first song. She continued singing for a further 45 minutes before she collapsed in front of fans.
Her body is seen jerking and she momentarily stops dancing, sits down and is attended to on stage by a snake handler. Initially, the pop star refused treatment and carried on singing before she started vomiting. After a number of seizures, she collapsed. She was taken to hospital where she was later confirmed to have died, Sky News reports.
Ferlando Octavion Auzura, who was in the audience, told local website merdeka.com: “The accident happened in the middle of the second song when Irma stepped on the snake’s tail. The snake then bit Irma on the thigh.”
Police said they are investigating the incident and gathering information from the audience. An expert from Tulala Snake Research Centre, Lydia Apririasari, told Rappler that dancing with snakesis very common in Indonesia, especially in villages.