BT reporter tells the horror of Bangkok bombing

National 2 minutes, 15 seconds


I WAS travelling on a van with an entourage of Southeast Asian journalists when we heard a loud bang just before 7pm here.

Together with another Bruneian reporter, we passed the area where the bomb exploded en route to the Hua Chang Heritage hotel for a dinner organised by the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

I was one of the 19 journalists invited by Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the ASEAN Media Familiarisation Trip in Bangkok. None of the journalists thought it was a bomb because who would have thought a bomb went off here.

It was only when we arrived at the hotel about five minutes away from the site that our liaison officer informed us that there was a bombing.

That was when I panicked and when my family, colleagues and friends started sending messages and calling me to see if I was safe.

The journalists were separated on two tables. On the table which I was seated, including journalists from the Philippines, Laos and Indonesia, we started getting anxious amid all the text messages and calls that kept coming through our phones.

The hotel where we had our dinner was just minutes away from blast site. Everyone was shocked and without finishing my meal, I went outside with my Borneo Bulletin colleague to watch live footage on a TV screen outside the restaurant. Shortly after, all the journalists joined in to watch the incident unfold. All were in shock and faces of worry and feelings of uncertainty could be felt.

The minute we arrived at our hotel, some of us rushed to the 32nd floor of our hotel to get a closer look of the explosion site.

There is an open air roof on the executive floor and we could see the intersection leading to the bomb site cordoned off by police. We were told to stay indoors by the time we got back to the hotel at 9pm. Sirens could still be heard passing through the streets below us when we returned to our hotel.I have gotten in touch with the Brunei embassy here, and they will keep us Bruneians updated on the situation.

When I asked the Brunei embassy official whether all Bruneians are safe, he said no Bruneians were reported injured in the deadly blast. He said the embassy will continue to monitor the situation and keep the public updated from time to time.

An official from Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also assured me it is still safe to travel around Bangkok.

The official said he is liaising with the Royal Thai Police and other security agencies, and would update the journalists of any developments on the security situation.

The Brunei Times