Dozens of deadly snakes were found crawling around in a bus traveling from Da Nang to Binh Dinh in central Vietnam Wednesday.
The driver, Duong Dinh Son, told the police that a woman in Quang Ngai, identified only as Lam, had asked him to carry two bags to the terminal in Binh Dinh where someone would receive them.
He did not know they contained highly venomous banded kraits, he said.
The snakes were detected at around 9:30 am when the bus reached Tu Nghia District inQuang Ngai.
Huynh Thi Diep, one of the first passengers to find them, said she felt something touch her foot.
“It was unbelievable. I was petrified to see it was a crawling krait,” she told VietNamNet.
Diep’s terrified cries caused other passengers to jump up. Meanwhile, dozens of snakes were crawling all over the floor of the bus.
The passengers quickly jumped off the bus as it stopped. It took half an hour for them and local residents to either capture or kill all the snakes.
They had escaped from two bags put in two boxes on the floor. Dozens of other snakes were still in the bags when they were taken out of the vehicle.
“Since it was packed, I agreed to carry them without asking what it was. It is lucky no one was bitten. Otherwise, it could have been fatal,” the driver said.
Many terrified passengers boarded other buses to resume their journey though Son was allowed to drive on after reporting to the police.
The banded krait is a protected species and classified in the Vietnam Red Book as "threatened."
The venom of the banded krait mainly contains neurotoxins and severe envenomation can lead to respiratory failure and death due to suffocation.