Bangkok blast: 27 die in rush-hour blast at shrine in city’s heart

The twin blasts, which the government believed was aimed at damaging economy and tourism, occurred in a space of minutes around 7 pm (5:30 IST) outside Erawan Shrine dedicated to Lord Brahma in the downtown Chidlom district.

By: PTI | Bangkok | Updated: August 18, 2015 8:44:45 am
bangkok, Bangkok blast, bangkok bomb blast, blast in bangkok, Bangkok bomb blast, Bangkok bomb blast deaths, death in Bangkok blast, blast in central Bangkok, Bangkok explosion, Bangkok bomb blast, World news Police investigate the scene after an explosion in Bangkok, Monday, Aug. 17, 2015. A large explosion rocked a central Bangkok intersection during the evening rush hour, killing a number of people and injuring others, police said(AP Photo/Mark Baker)

Two powerful bomb blasts outside a hugely popular Lord Brahma temple in a crowded business district here today killed at least 27 people, including four foreigners. The twin blasts, which the government believed was aimed at damaging economy and tourism, occurred in a space of minutes around 7 pm (5:30 IST) outside Erawan Shrine dedicated to Lord Brahma in the downtown Chidlom district, creating panic as people fled the place that was spilled with blood.

READ LATEST NEWS: It’s ‘much clearer who the bombers are’, say Thai officials

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The temple is located on a main road through Bangkok’s commercial hub and is surrounded by three major shopping malls. However, there were no reports of any Indian casualties in the explosions that caused a huge amount of chaos, with body parts scattered everywhere. It is among Bangkok’s most popular tourist attractions.

bangkok, Bangkok blast, bangkok bomb blast, blast in bangkok, Bangkok bomb blast, Bangkok bomb blast deaths, death in Bangkok blast, blast in central Bangkok, Bangkok explosion, Bangkok bomb blast, World news Bangkok blast: The blast took place near the Erawan shrine at a major Bangkok intersection, police said.

Police said first an improvised explosive device fastened to a utility pole in front of the temple at the Ratchaprasong intersection detonated which was immediately followed by a motorbike bomb blast, causing two nearby taxis to explode.

However, some sources said a bomb was hidden under a roadside bench in front of the Phra Prom (Brahma temple). No group has claimed responsibility for the blast.

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The Rajprasong intersection has been the centre of political demonstrations in recent years.

bangkok, Bangkok blast, bangkok bomb blast, blast in bangkok, Bangkok bomb blast, Bangkok bomb blast deaths, death in Bangkok blast, blast in central Bangkok, Bangkok explosion, Bangkok bomb blast, World news A policeman photographs debris from an explosion in central Bangkok, Thailand, Monday, Aug. 17, 2015. (Source: AP)

Thai TV said at least 27 people were killed during the evening rush hour. The nationality of four foreigners killed in the blast is not known yet.

The iron fence surrounding the shrine was bent outward by the force of the blast.

Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwong said: “It was a TNT bomb… the people who did it targeted foreigners and to damage tourism and the economy.”

bangkok, Bangkok blast, bangkok bomb blast, blast in bangkok, Bangkok bomb blast, Bangkok bomb blast deaths, death in Bangkok blast, blast in central Bangkok, Bangkok explosion, Bangkok bomb blast, World news Debris lies on the pavement after an explosion in Bangkok, Monday, Aug. 17, 2015. A large explosion rocked a central Bangkok intersection during the evening rush hour, killing a number of people and injuring others, police said. (Source: AP)

Police said the bomb was made of 5 kg of TNT explosive. The explosion had a radius of 40 metres.

The Bangkok Post quoted police as saying that at least one more bomb was defused by officers in the same area.

“We are in close touch with the authorities concerned. So far there have been no reports of any Indians being injured,” Indian Ambassador to Thailand Harsh Vardhan Shringla told PTI.

Motorcycles are strewn about after an explosion in Bangkok, Monday, Aug. 17, 2015. A large explosion rocked a central Bangkok intersection during the evening rush hour, killing a number of people and injuring others, police said. (Source: AP) Motorcycles are strewn about after an explosion in Bangkok, Monday, Aug. 17, 2015. A large explosion rocked a central Bangkok intersection during the evening rush hour, killing a number of people and injuring others, police said. (Source: AP)

Police, emergency vans and bomb detonation squads rushed to the area where several motorcycles lay mangled.

Bomb attacks in Bangkok are extremely rare.

In 2012, a series of explosions hit Bangkok, injuring five people. Thai authorities said that the bombings were a botched attempt by Iranian nationals to assassinate Israeli diplomats. Several Iranians were arrested and charged for the attacks, one of whom was badly injured.

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