Bangkok on high alert after reported explosions

ping pong bombs

Image credit: @JS100radio

A series of explosions took place this Friday morning in 3 central locations in Bangkok, namely: 57/1 Soi Rama 9, Mahanakhon Building, and along Chaeng Wattana road. While many netizens took it to social media, some also pointed out that the incident takes place during the time of the ASEAN Summit. 

Foreign ministers in Thailand for ASEAN Summit

The Thai capital is hosting the regional ASEAN Summit to discuss Southeast Asian security. The meetings are being attended by foreign diplomats and ministers including U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. Other ASEAN dialogue partners include representatives from the EU, Australia, and India. 

asean summit in bangkok

The 34th ASEAN leaders summit which took place on 23rd June 2019
Image credit: TRTWorld

In reaction to the event, government spokeswoman Narumon Pinyosinwat said that security measures have been tightened, as reported by Bangkok Post

There are ongoing investigations on 2 suspects who were found to have dropped suspicious items outside the Royal Thai Police Head Office, situated at Rama 1 Road. This happened on Thursday (1st August) evening, which was caught on security cameras in the area. These items were found to have been fake bombs

As investigations continue, some netizens believe the ASEAN Summit to be a possible motivation behind the attacks, though this remains unverified. 

Explosions caused by “ping pong bombs”

Bomb shrapnel was found after 57/1 Soi Rama 9 had been cleared after the explosion. Police Col. reported to Reuters that the explosions were caused by “ping pong bombs” hidden in the area. These devices come in the size of table tennis balls, and injured cleaning officers who had been in the area at the time. 

king power mahanakhon tower

Explosions occurred in the area surrounding Mahanakhon Tower near Chong Nonsi BTS Station. The tower is one of Bangkok’s most iconic skyscrapers with many visitors daily.
Image credit: Dezeen

Bomb disposal experts were brought on the scene at Mahanakhon Tower in the Chong Nonsi area. Chong Nonsi and Sala Daeng BTS stations had been cordoned off this morning after suspicious items were spotted in the area.

bomb disposal experts

Image credit: REUTERS

Citizens to avoid areas in city centre

BTS and MRT lines are operating as per normal, though citizens should still remain vigilant. According to Twitter, members of the public are advised to avoid the following areas for safety: 

  • Victory Monument
  • Siam Square
  • Hua Lumphong Train Station
  • MRT, BTS, and bus terminals situated in the central city area

Citizens are also encouraged to stay calm and contact the police at 191 in case of emergencies, or if they have any news on the situation.