Bangkok bomb explosion: Pictures show scale of devastation after blast near Erawan shrine


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The Independent Online

A bomb in a busy commercial district in the Thai capital has killed at least 16 people and injured dozens more.

The explosion is thought to have taken place the entrance of the Erawan Hindu shrine, a known tourist attraction in the area, at around 7:15pm (12:15 GMT).

The blast was captured on video via CCTV, it is thought that there are 4 foreigners among those dead, though their nationalities have not been confirmed.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal officers enter the Erawan Shrine after the explosion (AP)

A general view taken from a moving train shows bodies covered in white sheets around the Erawan Shrine - (EPA)

Police chief Somyot Poompanmoung is interviewed by the press (Getty)

Thai rescue workers carry an injured person away from the scene - (EPA)

A Thai soldier ropes off the scene (AFP Getty)

A Thai soldier looks at the damage caused by the blast (AFP Getty)

Motorcycles are strewn about after the explosion - (AP)

Rescue workers near the scene (Getty)

Officials close off an intersection in city center Bangkok - (AP)

Motorcycles lie on the street at the scene of the bomb attack near Erawan Shrine - (EPA)

Motorcycles lie on the street at the scene - (EPA)

An Explosive Ordnance Disposal team suits up in the middle of an intersection - (AP)

body lies covered on the ground as a firefighter runs on the foreground at the scene - (EPA)

A member of the bomb squad in protective suit talks to a colleague as the body of a victim is seen on the background (EPA)

Women await information about their missing loved ones (EPA)

A woman is deeply distressed as crowds await news on their missing relatives (EPA)

The damage is widespread around the busy shopping district, the blast broke the windows of many boutiques in the area - (EPA)

Emergency workers attend to the wounded following the explosion - (AP)

"We still don't know for sure who did this and why," Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon told reporters. "We are not sure if it is politically motivated, but they aim to harm our economy and we will hunt them down."

Anusit Kunakorn, secretary of the National Security Council, said Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the former army chief, was closely monitoring the situation.

Thailand's capital has been relatively peaceful since a military coup ousted a civilian government in May last year after several months of sometimes violent political protests against the previous government. However, there has been some tension in recent months as the junta has made clear it may not hold elections until 2017 and wants a constitution that will allow some type of emergency rule to take the place of an elected government.

Car bombs are almost unknown in Bangkok, but have been used in southern Thailand, where a Muslim separatist insurgency has been flaring for several years.