Bangkok: Explosions Kill Five, Injure 16 : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Nando Times

Five killed, 16 injured in Bangkok explosions

By UAMDAO NOIKORN, Associated Press

BANGKOK, Thailand (January 19, 2001 6:54 a.m. EST - A leaking cooking gas container caused a series of explosions in a business area in downtown Bangkok on Friday, police said. Five people were injured and two buildings were gutted, they said.

At least 16 others were injured, many of them commuters waiting at a bus stop in the crowded Pratunam neighborhood, police and hospital officials said. Most of the injured were released after treatment.

Police and rescue workers initially reported eight deaths, but police spokesman Maj. Gen. Pongsapat Pongcharoen later lowered the toll.

Pongsapat said the explosion was caused by a leaking gas bottle in a home kitchen on the third floor of a four-story building with an optical shop downstairs.

The gas seeped out and when a roadside food vendor lit his stove, an arc of flame enveloped the area, Pongsapat said.

The flame spread through the building causing several explosions, he said. The fire engulfed a nearby electronics store where three people died of smoke inhalation: the shop's 61-year-old owner, her 33-year-old son and a female worker in her 30s.

The blasts also killed the food vendor, Charoen Lamduan, and a woman walking by, chief investigator Lt. Col. Sarawut Boonsiriyothin said.

Suchada Busmas, a shopkeeper, said she heard "a big bang."

"That's when I told my children to run for their lives, and when I turned back I saw fire breaking out," she said.

-- Rachel Gibson (, January 19, 2001

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