3 Chinese nationals have been killed and at least 15 more injured in a bomb that exploded at about 7pm on Monday evening at Bangkok’s Erawan Shrine.
Separately, Hong Kong authorities have confirmed that at least 3 tourists from the territory have been injured in the explosion. According to local media reports, a number of tourists from Taiwan have also been wounded.
Pictures are circulating on social media of damaged vehicles and body parts strewn all over the explosion site.
— ธัญญธร onenews (@dekdue_03) August 17, 2015
Appeals were made for Chinese and Japanese volunteer translators to communicate with victims of the blast, as well as for blood donations at the Police General Hospital and Chulalongkorn Hospital.
The Erawan Shrine, dedicated to Brahma, the four-faced Hindu god of creation, was built in 1956 on the advice of an astrologer to eradicate bad karma believed to have been caused by laying the foundations on the wrong date.
According to one report, the bomb was made of 5kg TNT and hidden under a bench. Another two bombs are said to have been defused. One of them was located at near Gaysorn Plaza at the Ratchaprasong junction, a location that has seen many a political demonstration in recent years.
18 people have been killed in the explosions, according to local media reports. That figure could be as high as 27, according to various unconfirmed reports. Additionally, another 127-160 people are estimated to be injured.
While no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, conspiracy theories are circulating on Chinese social media that the explosion was targeted at Chinese tourists. Thailand’s Chinese-language newspaper Sing Sian Daily has hypothesized that global Islamist terrorist organizations could be trying to send Bangkok a message over its recent forcible repatriation of 109 Uyghurs to China.
Other groups that are likely to be responsible for the attacks, according to the paper, are Muslim separatists based in Thailand’s restive south, and anti-junta Red Shirts. The attack has been denounced by former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra as well as her brother Thaksin, who remains in exile.
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) August 17, 2015
The Thai Red Cross is making an appeal for blood donations (Tel: +662-263-9600-99).
Chinese nationals in need of consular assistance can reach the Chinese embassy at +66-2-2457044 or +66-854833327 (24-hour hotline), or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ global hotline at +86-10-12308.
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) August 17, 2015
12:05am There is no State of Emergency in #Bangkok. No curfew. Government offices & malls open as normal tomorrow. Some schools closed.
— Richard Barrow (@RichardBarrow) August 17, 2015
UPDATE, 3.10am: This new video shows first-hand perspective of the blast at Bangkok’s Erawan Shrine, as experienced by a Chinese tourist. 19 people have been killed so far in the bomb attack, including at least 10 Thais, 3 Chinese, 2 Malaysians and 1 Filipino.
NEW VIDEO shows first-hand perspective of the blast at Bangkok's Erawan Shrine, as experienced by a Chinese tourist.19 people have been killed so far in the bomb attack, including at least 10 Thais, 3 Chinese, 2 Malaysians and 1 Filipino.READ MORE: http://shst.me/erawan
Posted by Shanghaiist on Monday, 17 August 2015
UPDATE, Aug 18: 22 people have been killed so far in the Bangkok bombing, including 3 mainland Chinese, 2 Hong Kongers, 4 Malaysians, 1 Singaporean, 1 Indonesian and 1 Filipino. There are conflicting reports about the number of Thais that have died in the explosion but one estimate places it at 10. Another 123 people were wounded in the attack.