A bomb explosion on Monday evening at one of Bangkok’s most popular tourist attraction areas killed at least 27 people and injured approximately 80 others. Most victims were foreign tourists visiting the Erawan Shrine at the Ratchaprasong Intersection. There is a fear that the numbers of victims will rise as the search for missing individuals continues. Bomb squad members cautioned people with the loudspeaker to leave the area as Thai police reported another active bomb in Bangkok needed to be defused.
According to local news, military and police have arrived at the scene and diffused the other two devices that they found attached at the bottom of the BTS Skytrain an hour later. The national police chief, Somyot Pumpanmuang, said the intersection road next to the blast area will be closed until Tuesday noon, as well as the nearest metro station has been shut down for evidence collection and other search purposes. Authorities have also reported that for more safety measures securities are checking other high-risk areas in Bangkok, including Silom, Pathumwan, Thong Lor, and Sukhumvit Road.
Both the Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister have expressed condolences to the families of the victims. Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said it was too soon to say whether the bombing was politically motivated or the result of terrorism. Bangkok Post published a quote of General Prawit commenting on the attacks, “But it was clear that the perpetrators intended to destroy the economy and tourism, because it occurred in the heart of (Bangkok’s) business district.” According to CNN, the bombing seems to be designed to create maximum casualties as the explosion took place right before the 7 pm rush hour in Bangkok; it also happened at the center of the capital city where hotels and major shopping malls are located.
Most of the injured victims are Asian tourists that have been placed in Police General Hospital and Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, both of which were requesting blood for victims by 8.45pm. Both of these hospitals called for translators as their staff struggled with language barriers.
By Irma Geldiashvili
August 17, 2015