Bangkok blast: Relatives of Thai victims tell of agony and loss

Relatives crying as they remove the body of bomb blast victim Suwan Sudmun at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Bangkok on Aug 18.
Relatives crying as they remove the body of bomb blast victim Suwan Sudmun at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Bangkok on Aug 18.PHOTO: THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
Thai relatives of a victim comforting each other at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Bangkok on Aug 18.
Thai relatives of a victim comforting each other at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Bangkok on Aug 18.PHOTO: THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

BANGKOK (THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Shedding tears for loved ones killed in the bomb blast at Bangkok's Ratchaprasong Intersection on Monday evening, three relatives of the victims have told their stories of agony and loss.

Pichitra Bamrungsuk, the sister-in-law of 30-year-old Suwan Sathman, said she and her family were informed around an hour after the blast that her brother-in-law had been seriously injured in the explosion at the Erawan Shrine.

"Our family was having dinner together at our home in Ratchaburi's Suan Phung district when we heard about the bomb explosion in Bangkok," she recalled.

"At first, we only heard that my brother-in-law had been injured by the bomb and admitted to Police General Hospital. We felt relieved to hear that at least he was in the doctors' good hands and we hurried to Bangkok. But when we arrived, he had already passed away," she said.

Pichitra said Suwan, who had worked for the Than Tao Mahaprom Foundation at the Erawan Shrine for more than 10 years, had planned to marry his fiancee soon.

Her family, Suwan's parents and his fiancee all broke down in tears when they saw his body at the Institute of Forensic Medicine, she added.

Suwan's family will host his funeral at his home for five days, after which he will be cremated at the nearby temple.

Also at the Institute of Forensic Medicine, Wian Niseeda, father of 32-year-old Suchada Niseeda - a Standard Chartered Bank employee - said the loss of his daughter was a major tragedy for the family. She had a nine-year-old daughter.

On Monday night at Police General Hospital, Kanoksak Changtam said he was looking for the body of his sister Waraporn Changtam.

"My sister, her husband and some of her friends walked past the scene when the bomb exploded. Her husband was injured in the blast, but she died. I got the news from her husband," he said.

After hearing the news, he rushed to Police General Hospital, but still did not know where his sister's body was.

Amid all the destruction and sadness, many people volunteered to work on finding and helping victims of the devastating attack.

Pei Ying, a Chinese university student, went to Chulalongkorn Hospital on Tuesday to try to locate a Chinese tourist who had lost contact with her relatives after the bombing.

"I found a topic on the Internet asking for help finding an old lady, Weng Da, who had travelled to Thailand |with her friends but lost contact with her family after the explosion. Therefore, I decided to help her family, because I can speak Thai and I want to help others during this situation," she said.

She said the woman's name was not on the lists of those identified as killed or injured, but she was continuing to try to match her photo with details of those caught up in the explosion.