In a first for area police, authorities in the Philippines said a local police chief was killed by a rooster’s blade while responding to an illegal cockfight.

Police Chief Lt. Christian Bolok bled to death after a metal blade fixed to one of the roosters sliced his femoral artery in what was described as a freak accident. Police Colonel Arnel Apud said from San Jose, a few hundred miles north of Manilla, that it was a bit of bad luck, CBS reports.

"I could not believe it when it was first reported to me,” he told AFP. “This is the first time in my 25 years as a policeman that I lost a man due to a fighting cock's spur."

Cockfighting is popular in the country, though it was banned after four observers tested positive for the novel coronavirus in August. Area residents were reportedly alarmed when the fight took place on Monday. The event's organizer was arrested and several others fled the scene when authorities arrived to break up the fight.

Provincial Gov. Edwin Ongchuan told The Associated Press by phone there may have been more to it than just the cut.

"He was trying to confiscate the roosters but the problem was the rooster's blade may have been laced with poison," he said.

During the raid, police seized seven roosters, two sets of blades and about $10 in the national currency. Prior to banning the events because of the pandemic, fights were limited to only licensed pits on Sundays and national holidays.

Cockfighting is a popular blood sport in the Philippines where money is bet on the outcome of fights Cockfighting is a popular blood sport in the Philippines where money is bet on the outcome of fights Photo: AFP / YAMIL LAGE