Located eight kilometers away from Chandigarh, the Kaimbwala village is a colony of migrants that came from the Hindu heartland. People live in “jam-packed” semi-pucca structures that are cluttered and close to each other.

The colony faced a terrible tragedy Saturday when an six-year-old girl was pronounced dead Saturday after a snake bit Payal on her forefinger. The suspect: a snake.

According to The Times of India, it was Payal's father who had first encountered the snake. It was around 5:30AM when Ram Karan complained that he felt something on his bare chest. He described the feeling to be “slightly wet,” and that there was a “creature” slowly moving across.

A 58-year-old man died Monday after he was bitten by a venomous snake inside his home. pixabay

Karan tossed aside what he thought was a snake and immediately asked his wife, Meera, to turn on the lights. It was here that the couple saw Karan's suspicion: a snake coiled at the edge of their bed where their only child was sleeping.

Payal's death baffled her parents and the rest of the colony. Karan and his wife didn't notice the “faintest of fang marks” on Payal's forefigner and that the symptoms of envenomation “had not set in as late as 7:30AM.”

Payal was declared dead at the PGI emergency due to a bite from a Common krait (Bungarus caeruleus), one of India's “Big Four” species that has inflicted the most snakebites in India.

The snake was later “bulgeoned to death” after it was identified.

Veteran snake expert Salim Khan said that rodents are moving to higher grounds due to rains, and where they go, snakes follow. Kaimbwala's hutment are the perfect place for these animals to seek shelter.

“These hutment are ideal to hide and forage for both rats and snakes,” said the snake expert while advising residents “to avoid clutter around their beds as snakes climb onto beds during the night using household goods as a support.”

Kedar S Bhide put on an extra word of precaution to the colony and asked them not to sleep on the floor as it invites danger. The researcher and snakebite expert also described the krait as a specie that “has shown ability to clamber on to beds and bite sleeping humans on upper body parts.”

Likewise, Bhide said that “typical krait behavior” is to find a warm place. In this case, the reptile might be tempted to slither in blankets, or “chaddars” with a human inside.

“When the person inside moves, it is perceived as a threat and the krait bites as a reaction.”

“The fangs of a krait are very small and very fine. The bite marks are not easily noticed,” he added as an explanation as to why Payal's parents were not able to see the puncture wounds.

Bhide also quipped that envenomation are usually delayed and can take hours to surface depending on the amount of venom the snake has injected into its victim.

On a separate incident, a 12-year-old boy also died of a snakebite in the Geets colony of Shahdara.

The victim was later identified as Deepak Kumar of Safeda Jhuggi.

Kumar's father, Lakhsam said that Deepak was bitten when he was sleeping Friday night.