The

The powerful King Cobra

A collection of highly venomous king cobras were found on Friday in 100-pound (45 kilogram) bags under the seats of a passenger train in Vietnam.

Railroad official Pham Quynh claimed that passengers were terrified when the cloth bags containing slithering cobras were spotted.  Quynh confirmed that there were four bags, but the exact number of snakes was unclear.  Nonetheless, the incident caused quite a panic among the passengers on the cross-country train from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi.

A guard and a conductor found the snakes while inspecting the train at a stop at Quang Ngai railway station.  During the chaos that ensued after the discovery, the owners appear to have snuck out of the train.  When nobody came forth to claim the cobras, they were passed along to forest rangers who released them into the wild on Saturday.  Nguyen Van Han, chief of the forest protection unit, claimed that some of the snakes weighed more than one 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds).

Snake meat is considered a delicacy in Vietnam and it is assumed that the snakes were bound for restaurants in Hanoi. 

The king cobra is the world's longest venomous snake with a length of up to 13 feet (4 meters).  These snakes are a protected species under Vietnamese laws.