Bomb toll revised: 20 dead, 125 injured

Bomb toll revised: 20 dead, 125 injured

An injured victim is wheeled into Chulalongkorn hospital after the bomb eplosion at Erawan Shrine. (Photo by Taweechai Tawatpakorn)
An injured victim is wheeled into Chulalongkorn hospital after the bomb eplosion at Erawan Shrine. (Photo by Taweechai Tawatpakorn)

Police on Tuesday morning revised the death toll from Monday night's bombing at Erawan Shrine in Bangkok to 20, including two Chinese and one Filipino. A spokesman said 125 people were injured and sought medical help.

Police spokesman Pol Lt Gen Prawut Thavornsiri said in a TV interview early Tuesday that earlier reports of 22 deaths were incorrect, caused by confusion over identifying body parts.

Health permanent secretary Narong Sahametapat and doctors told the German news agency dpa that there was still some confusion on Tuesday morning.

"There are many people still in hospital whose nationality we can't determine," said Dr Phetphong Kamjornjitjakarn.

"They remain incapacitated and were not carrying any form of identification at the time of the incident."

Dr Narong told the media, "The youngest patient currently in our care is a 5-year-old Chinese national who suffered head injuries."

He added, "Some patients have been discharged but those suffering from trauma or burns remain in hospital."

Pol Lt Gen Prawut said authorities have checked footage from 15 CCTV cameras in the area and saw what they consider to be suspects who may have placed the bomb. Their identities were still unknown.

Images of a man suspected to be a bomb planter showing him with a backpack and without it captured on a CCTV camera. (Photo supplied by the metropolitan police)

There was wide sharing on social media of a report about "a white foreigner" who arrived in a tuk-tuk carrying a rucksack, and then was seen without it. Later the bomb went off. However, Pol Lt Gen Prawut said it was still unclear who the bomber could have been.

He said police would need some time to collect evidence, which was different from the Paragon bombing in February which involved only a low-power device.

Police on Tuesday morning swept the streets in the Ratchaprasong area for possible evidence. The intersection remained closed, causing traffic jams in the area, but was expected to reopen about noon on Tuesday.

Pol Lt Gen Prawut said the bomb blew debris and shrapnel up to 100 metres from site of the explosion. 

Police chief Somyot Punpunmuang told reporters that investigation would be difficult as the bomb blast had destroyed "all traces" of its construction and origin.

The hotline 1599 is open for the pulbic to contribute photos or videos taken around the area before or soon after the bomb explosion, to help authorities reconstruct the crime. 

Bangkok police detectives said ball bearings possibly packed  with the explosive as shrapnel were found in the explosion area. They were six millimetres in diameter, the same size as those found at the scene of the botched bomb explosion set off by Iranian suspects on Sukhumvit 71, Bangkok, in February 2012.

The photo gallery by Bangkok Post reporters on Monday night and Tuesday morning.



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