Thursday, August 20, 2015

Pinoy narrowly escapes Bangkok blast: ‘Buti na lang naglakad ako sa footbridge’

A decision to take the footbridge instead of the street to get to Bangkok's Central Mall saved a Filipino worker from Monday night's bomb explosion that killed over 20 people and injured over a hundred others.

"Masyadong maraming tao sa kalsada so I decided na maglakad sa footbridge," said Dice Silverio in an interview on "Balitanghali" on Tuesday. "Buti na lang naglakad ako sa footbridge. Medyo malapit na ako sa area nung sumabog 'yung bomb."

The bomb exploded in front of the Erawan shrine, one of Bangkok's most renowned shrines and located near the footbridge that links Central Mall to the Thai capital's two train stations. It is also a place popular among tourists.

Silverio said the blast was powerful enough to shake the footbridge and cause some people to go out of balance.

"Nasa ibabaw ako nung mismong main road, yung bomb kasi nasa tapat siya mismo nung shrine. So yung lakas nung impact, dama namin siya sa ibabaw ng footbridge. So nung sumabog yung bomb, nayanig yung buong footbridge, may mga na out-of-balance na tao," he said.

Silverio said he believes most of the casualties were tourists, noting the shrine's popularity.

"Mas mataas 'yung percentage ng turista. Normally, ang mga lokal na nandun sa area na 'yun mga nagwo-work lang o mga vendors. Pero karamihan talaga ng mga pumupunta diyan sa area na 'yan turista," he said.

Silverio said most of the roads in the capital had been closed due to the incident, and that the police and the military have have increased patrol rounds in the city.

"Mabilis naka-respond yung mga pulis tsaka 'yung iba pang mga security personnel... merong police hospital na walking distance from the area kaya mabilis mag-respond 'yung mga tao," he said.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack yet, but Thailand's national police chief Somyot Pumpanmuang said that an investigation will be carried out to identify  a man seen on CCTV carrying a backpack past the scene at the time of the incident.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) was still verifying reports that one of the fatalities was a Filipino as of posting time. —KBK, GMA News

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