27 Dead and 125 Injured in Bangkok Explosion

27 Dead and 125 Injured in Bangkok Explosion
Photo Credit:Reuters/ 達志影像

What you need to know

A popular tourist attraction near the Erawan shrine in Bangkok, Thailand exploded on the evening of August 17.

Following the warehouse explosion on August 12 in the New Binhai Area of Tianjin, China, a popular tourist attraction near the Erawan shrine in Bangkok, Thailand exploded on the evening of August 17.

According to Reuters, the explosion has already caused 27 deaths and at least 125 people were injured.

1. Scene of the crime: The Erawan shrine in Bangkok

The Erawan shrine located at the Central World department store in Bangkok is one of Thailand’s most prosperous incense burning strongholds. Located between the borders of downtown Rachadamri road and Phloen Chit road, the shrine was built in 1956 and it is rumored that it was built during the construction of the Erawan hotel. Due to lack of industrial safety, many accidents took place and the hotel was removed. The altar was preserved and became a must-go tourist attraction.

This site is exactly where the explosion occurred.

Reuters reports, National Police Chief Somyot Poompanmuang told reporters the blast was caused by a pipe bomb.

CNA reports, the minister of the Ministry of Defense in Thailand Prawit Wongsuwong says, “Using TNT, the criminals targeted foreigners, aiming to destroy the tourist industry and the economy."

According to Reuters, this bomb explosion killed 27 people. Among the victims were people from China and Taiwan.

(Site of the explosion on Ratchaprasong Road)

(CCTV obtained the first images of the explosion)

CCTV captures the moment of the #Bangkok bomb http://bbc.in/1UOkJCm

Posted by BBC News on 2015年8月17日

Thailandfans Forum posted pictures of the explosion site)

(Coconuts TV images of the explosion)

Bomb kills scores in downtown BangkokA bomb killed several people in downtown Bangkok on Monday, August 17, 2015. #prayforbangkokRead more on Coconuts Bangkok: http://bangkok.coconuts.co

Posted by Coconuts TV on 2015年8月17日

2. Motive behind the explosion still unknown

So far, it is still unknown whether any organizations or individuals were behind the incident.
BBC Chinese reports, according to Thailand local media, The Nation, the Thailand military has ruled out Islamic terrorist groups to be the perpetrators. The government estimates there are three possible motives: political conflicts, dissatisfaction towards the current governmental structure or international terrorism.

Apple Daily reports, a spokesperson of the Thai military government confirmed there were at least two bombs at the scene, one of which has been detonated.

Initium Media reports, since the military coup in Thailand last May, there have already been five explosion cases in the country. Thai officials believe southern separatists organized three of them.

In recent years, there have also been many large-scale political protests in Bangkok.

Last year, Thailand’s political turmoil went on for several months. The anti-government “Yellow Shirts" and the pro-government “Red Shirts" all assembled in Bangkok, leading to the implementation of street blockades for a while.

Photo Credit:Reuters
Photo Credit:Reuters

3. Current status of victims

BBC Chinese reports, the Thai police confirmed to the Chinese Consulate that two Chinese citizens have been killed and 15 were injured.

The Hong Kong government said three Hong Kong citizens were injured during the explosion. Currently, the hospitals require a lot of Chinese translators, as there are many Chinese among the people injured.

Apple Daily reports, after the International and Cross-Strait Legal Affairs Department of the Ministry of Justice in Taiwan heard about the news, it immediately contacted the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Thailand. They initially identified five Taiwanese to be injured, but the details on how many were injured are still unclear.

CNA reports, four Taiwanese tourists have been hospitalized and are under stable condition. The ROC representative office in Thailand says, a father and daughter (last name Zhang) were taken to the Central Police Hospital and Chulalongkorn hospital for leg injuries.

4. There are now 13 high-risk areas in Bangkok after the explosion

According to official data in Thailand, VisionThai (VT) listed 13 high-risk areas, warning travelers and residents in Bangkok to pay attention to their safety.

5. Responds from Southeast Asia

There were many Singaporeans affected by the explosion. Singapore strongly condemns the criminals behind the explosion. The country will stay in contact with Thai authorities and sends its condolences to the victims and their family members.

JUST IN: Some Singaporeans injured in #BangkokBlast, MFA rendering consular assistance to affected Singaporeans and in contact with Thai authorities. http://bit.ly/1Wz0SJg

Posted by Channel NewsAsia Singapore on 2015年8月17日

Translated by Sarah Grasdijk
Edited by Olivia Yang