Indonesian pop star Irma Bule died on Monday, April 4, after a king cobra bit her mid-performance during a Karawang, West Java concert, police confirm to Us Weekly. The singer was 29.
Bule, who was known to use reptiles in her stage shows, was attacked by the venomous snake (reportedly named Rianti) halfway through her act, according to the Daily Mail.
The outlet also reports that the entertainer continued to sing for a full 45 minutes after the serpent sunk its teeth into Bule’s thigh. She then apparently collapsed after vomiting and experiencing seizures. She was later pronounced dead upon her arrival at a local hospital.
Bule thought that the cobra was de-fanged and free of venom prior to taking the stage with the animal, the Daily Mail reports. King cobras are among the world’s deadliest snakes.
“My daughter might not have known that the snake that was given to her for the show was a dangerous cobra,” Bule's mother, Encum, told Indonesian news site Si Momot (via the Daily Mail). “She was told she could wear it, even though its mouth was not closed with duct tape.”
Encum reportedly then went on to say that performing with snakes was her daughter’s “trademark.” “I don't know what started her off using a snake,” she added. “But she would wrap it around her neck while dancing and sometimes she would wrap it around the music player.”
Bule is survived by her husband and three young children: Flowers, 8, Rose, 6, and Kiran, 4. Jakarta police tell Us that her death is "currently being investigated."
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