BANGKOK: Two Malaysians have been confirmed to be among at least 16 people killed in a bomb blast in central Bangkok which also injured dozens others.
The Malaysian fatalities were confirmed by a Malaysian embassy official in the Thai capital.
The explosion at about 7 pm (8 pm Malaysian time) occurred at the Ratchaprasong intersection, near the famous Erawan Shrine and Bangkok’s colourful and high-street shopping.
It also damaged several cars and motorcycles. It was also reported that street vendors along the road were believed to be among the victims of the explosion.
Thai police chief Gen Somyot Poompanmouag said 16 people died as a result of the bomb blast, including possibly China and Philippine nationals.
Other police sources said the victims might also include visitors from Japan and Hong Kong.
Somyot chaired a meeting at the police headquarters after visiting the site of the blast.
He had earlier said that the explosion was caused by a TNT bomb.
An unconfirmed report from a police source stated there might be two more unexploded bombs, indicating that those responsible wanted to cause major damage.
As at 9.30 pm local time, 82 people were confirmed injured, according to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s Erawan Emergency Medical Services Centre (EMS).
It collected the figures from 15 hospitals in Bangkok.
However, it was unable to confirm the number of fatalities.
Ratchaprasong intersection in central Bangkok was a location of both protest site for the Red Shirt in 2010 and PDRC (The People Democratic Reform Committee) protest led by Suthep Thuaksuban in 2014, that eventually led to a military coup and removal of ex-premier Yingluck Shinawatra.
Despite the bombing located not far from the Chitlom station of the rail service of Bangkok Train Service or popularly known skytrain, the service still continues.
Major Gen Weerachon Sukhonthapatipak, the deputy government spokesman said Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha had already been informed of the bomb explosion and he had instructed the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team to go to the area.
He said, so far, there was no plan to close schools and banks near the area.