Staff in a bank in Nanning city in southern China were stunned last week when a Burmese python fell through the ceiling while they were having a meeting.

The drama happened at 8.14am last Friday when a bank manager at the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China was holding a morning briefing with eight employees.

The python suddenly fell from the ceiling and hit the shoulder of a female worker before it landed on the floor, Nanning Evening News reported. The workers immediately dispersed in fear of the reptile.

The snake was slithered quickly under a sofa, according to footage from a closed-circuit TV in the room (see video below).

Workers then called a snake catcher, who tried a catch it with a long pole with a clamp on the end. The snake struggled vigorously but it was finally put inside a bag to be taken away.

The two-meter-long snake, weighing 5 kilograms, is a protected species in China. It was sent to a wildlife conservation and research station.

No one was injured in the incident and the bank opened at normal working hours as usual. Police are investigating how the snake entered the bank.

They were told that a python was caught a year ago at the same branch.

The incident drew a lot of comment on social media. One citizen said the python must have been trying to borrow or steal from the bank. Another said working at that branch could be risky.