A man in the Indian state of Bihar, who was bitten by a venomous snake, tried to kill his wife by biting her wrist.

The incident happened in a village in the Samastipur district of the state over the weekend when Shankar Rai woke up to find he had been bitten by a snake.

Realising he was not going to survive, he apparently got very emotional. He rushed towards his wife, Amiri Devi, and started biting her wrist in the hope that they could die together, the Gulf News reported.

While sinking his teeth into his wife's wrists, Rai apparently told her he loved her very much and wouldn't want to die without her. The pair fell unconscious after the incident, according to witnesses. They were immediately rushed to a hospital for treatment.

Rai died soon after being admitted to the hospital, while Devi survived due to timely medical attention. "The woman could be saved as her treatment began on time. She is safe now," Dr Jaykant told local media on Monday, 12 June.

Devi said she allowed her husband to bite her, adding that Rai had wanted for the two of them to remain together even after death.

Snake bites occur in large numbers in India given that a large majority of people live in rural areas and depend on agricultural activities for a living and encounters with snakes are part of their life.

Nearly 46,000 people die of snakebites every year in the country, according to the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Man bites wife after being bitten by snake to remain united in afterlife - File photo Ethan Miller/Getty Images