Thailand: Bangkok hit by large explosion near Erawan shrine killing at least 16 and injuring dozens

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Scene of explosion (Image via Richard Barrow)

A large explosion is reported to have hit at a road intersection in Ratchaprasong, Bangkok in the vicinity of the Erawan shrine, a tourist attraction, which is located near to Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel and the Amarin Plaza shopping centre. The Erawan Shrine is a Hindu shrine containing a statue of Phra Phrom, the Thai representation of Brahma. The blast occurred happened at around 7pm local time (12.00 GMT).

Eric Parport, political correspondent, Thailand tweeted that Governor Sukhumphan was on scene. There are 16 confirmed deaths including several foreigners with reports of over 80 injured and body parts scattered around the area.

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Reports of 27 dead, many injured (Image Eric Parpart)

The Bangkok Post stated,

“Lumphini police said the bomb at Ratchaprasong could be hidden in a motorcycle. At least 45 vehicles were damaged by the Ratchaprasong bomb. EOD police have detonated at least 1 more bomb in Ratchaprasong area. Army chief Gen Udomdej Sitabutr: No enforcement of the state of emergency decree in Bangkok.”

According to Lonely Planet Travel guide website, the Erawan Shrine was built in 1956 to end a string misfortunes that happened during the construction of the Erawan hotel. They state,

“after several incidents ranging from injured construction workers to the sinking of a ship carrying marble for the hotel, a Brahmin priest was consulted. Since the hotel was to be named after the elephant escort of Indra in Hindu mythology, the priest determined that Erawan required a passenger, and suggested it be that of Lord Brahma. A statue was built and, lo and behold, the misfortunes miraculously ended.”

Read more:http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thailand/bangkok/sights/landmarks-monuments/erawan-shrine#ixzz3j58CGtXh

Today the shrine appears to have been deliberately targeted. Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said, “the bomb was placed inside the Erawan Shrine area”

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Erawan Shrine, aftermath of alleged bomb blast (Image via Trac)

Response on Twitter

Kushan Mitra

Rachaprasong is pretty much the heart of Bangkok. Wow, must have been the evening rush hour too!

Richard Barrow

7:46pm Some really graphic images now being tweeted of body parts. It must have been a massive explosion. Very sad day for

Andrew Brown

Here is the power of at its finest: live streaming of aftermath of explosion

So far there have been no claims of responsibility. Bangkok has seen protests and battles on the streets in recent years between supporters of rival political parties. Southern Thailand has also suffered an ongoing insurgency centred on the 3 mainly Muslim provinces bordering Malaysia, see following,

“The smouldering Thai insurgency”

https://www.ctc.usma.edu/posts/the-smoldering-thai-insurgency

Links

“Why is Thailand under military rule?”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25149484

Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad . She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.

 

About Carol Anne Grayson

Blogging for Humanity.... Campaigner/researcher global health/human rights/drones/WOT/insurgency http://www.esrc.ac.uk/ESRCInfoCentre/PO/experts/Health_and_Wellbeing.aspx Exec Producer of Oscar nominated documentary Incident in New Baghdad, currently filming on drones.
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