Southern bomb scare prompts railway delay
SONGKHLA: Railway services from the southernmost provinces were suspended for about six hours on Friday after a hole suspected of containing a bomb was spotted near a railway station in Hat Yai district.
However, no explosive device was found.
The hole was spotted about a kilometre away from the station, or near sign pole 920/9-10.
It was located behind the Rattanawiboon community, between Hat Yai and Na Muang stations in Hat Yai municipality, a source said.
Two trains from Sungai Kolok in the Narathiwat-Bangkok section and one from the Sungai Kolok-Phatthalung section were temporarily halted.
An initial inspection showed the hole measured at 0.30m in diameter, at a location 1.20m lower than the ridge.
Services between the stations were suspended at 3.25pm, pending an inspection by Songkhla Provincial Police's Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit and the Border Patrol Police's Sub-division 43.
Volunteers from the Mittraphap Samakee Foundation also helped manage the situation and blocked a road around Soi Rattanawiboon for the authorities.
Mobile phone signals were cut off for safety.
The unit arrived at the scene about 8pm and used a metal detector to search for a bomb in the hole.
However, no bomb was found.
Services resumed about 9pm following the EOD unit's probe.
Authorities have yet to determine whether the hole was dug by a human or an animal.
The source said trace soils suggest it was dug a couple of days ago.
On Thursday, a train on the Bangkok-Sungai Kolok section was ambushed by insurgents near Narathiwat's Rueso district.
Ekkarat Sriarayanpong, director of the State Railway of Thailand (SRT)'s Public Relations Centre, said the train's timetable was then temporarily changed to alter its route.