Red Cross responds to bomb explosion in central Bangkok

Published: 18 August 2015 15:31 CET

By Kate Roux, IFRC

On Monday,  17 August at 7pm, an explosive device went off at the Erawan Shrine at Ratchaprasong intersection in central Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. The incident resulted in a number of deaths and injuries.

“The explosion was completely unexpected, and it is shocking for everyone,” said Anne Leclerc, head of the regional delegation in Bangkok for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The Thai Red Cross Society immediately responded by providing support in hospitals accommodating those injured by the blast. A total of 27 people have been treated by the Red Cross so far, including three young girls. By Tuesday morning, 18 of those treated were released but three had died.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Thailand issued a press release encouraging the public to remain calm, while still monitoring the situation. Meanwhile, the community in Bangkok has demonstrated its and support for all those affected, not only through social media with the hashtag #prayforbangkok, but by also filling the Thai Red Cross Society’s National Blood Centre with potential donors.

“Through its blood centre, the Thai Red Cross Society provides blood to all hospitals in Thailand. And during incidents such as the one we are facing, they ensure it goes to those who need it most,” Leclerc said.  “Blood supplies are critical for saving lives, and the outpouring of support demonstrated today is tremendous.”

Picture: The Nation

The Red Cross is monitoring the situation in collaboration with authorities, and while life continues as normal in Bangkok, locals exercise caution. A second incident occurred in the early hours of 18 August without casualties,, but acted as a reminder for citizens to remain alert.

“We will do the best we can to help the public in avoiding unnecessary injury and harm, and remain a reliable source of aid for those who need it,” Leclerc said.