Students and staffers of a school in Maharashtra were gripped with panic when 60 highly poisonous Russell’s viper snakes were found in the kitchen of the school.

According to reports, the snakes were found in a Zilla Parishad-run school in Pangra Bokhare located in a village of Hingoli district in Marathwada region of the state.

The vipers were found slithering in one corner of the kitchen. The discovery was made by a female cook when she removed blocks of wood used for fuel after spotting two Russell’s vipers near the place.

The school’s headmaster, Triyambak Bhosle, said, “All of us panicked after seeing so many snakes. Several villagers rushed to the spot with sticks and stones but we stopped them from killing the snakes.”

A snake catcher, Vicky Dalal, was called and after toiling for more than two hours, he caught all the snakes and put them in bottles.

Bhimrao Bokhare, a school administrator, said the snakes were later handed over to forest officer JD Kachwe.

The Russell’s viper is one of the most venomous snake species found in India. Extant throughout the subcontinent, a full-grown viper looks like a python but is extremely fast and can kill a human within minutes of biting.

According to a report, the venom of a Russell’s Viper destroys the kidneys and hemorrhaging occurs throughout the body including in the pituitary gland. Survivors can be affected by a host of medical conditions.

(With agency inputs.)