BANGKOK/SINGAPORE - Some Singaporeans have suffered injuries in a bomb blast that went off in the heart of Bangkok on Monday night, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
In a statement, the MFA said its embassy staff are providing consular assistance to affected Singaporeans.
The Singapore embassy in Bangkok is also checking with the Thai authorities if there are more Singaporeans affected by the bomb blast, and contacting registered Singaporeans based in Bangkok. It has sent out SMSes to the couple of thousands of Singaporeans all over Thailand registered with it, informing them of the incident.
In a Facebook post, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that his thoughts were with those affected by the explosion.
"Some Singaporeans have been injured in the explosion. Our Bangkok Mission staff have met them, and are rendering consular assistance," he wrote.
The MFA also urged Singaporeans in Bangkok to take the necessary safety precautions, avoid the vicinity of the explosion and to monitor the local news closely.
Dozens of tourists were injured in the bombing, which appeared to have been targeted at foreigners.
Singaporean Clarice Luo, 25, who is in Bangkok for a birthday trip, missed the explosion by about 20 minutes - she had passed through the area earlier on the way to Chinatown.
She told The Straits Times: "My Thai friend and I were driving on the adjacent street and almost ended up on the same intersection, but thankfully my friend took an alternative route."
"At around 7.20pm I was told there were other bombs in the area and to get back to my hotel."
She said it took an hour to get through the streets to her hotel a train station away from the blast area.
Singapore filmmaker Boo Junfeng was on his way to dinner at nearby Siam Paragon when the bomb went off.
"I didn't hear the blast, but the train I was on must have passed by Erawan Shrine around the time it happened," he told ST.
When he got off the train at Siam station, which is one train station away from the bomb site, he heard the blaring sirens of emergency vehicles but thought it was a fire at first.
Things were business as usual at the Siam Paragon area, where he was, said the 31-year-old.
In Bangkok to complete post-production on his feature film, Mr Boo said: "There were many people trying to get out of the area and the roads were jammed."
Singaporean freelance designer Hendric Tay, 27, who is on holiday and is staying about 3km away from the Erawan shrine, said he is not going to cut short his trip.
"I don't think the situation warrants coming back immediately. I'll just be more alert."
Another Singaporean, Mr Eugene Lai, 61, who runs a furniture company in Bangkok, was having dinner with his colleague on the outskirts of Bangkok when he head about the blast.
"My wife called me, and I called my friends, my staff and everyone close to me," he said.
He is not panicking, having witnessed Thailand's turbulence over the past two decades.
But he tends to avoid crowded shopping malls, as those are the places where incidents like this tend to happen.
Later on Monday night, Thai media reported that there were four foreigners among the 16 people killed, including at least one from China and one from the Philippines. Earlier reports had said 27 were killed.
About 81 others were injured.
Singaporeans requiring urgent assistance in Bangkok can contact the Singapore Embassy at +66 81 844-3580 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, they may contact the 24-hour MFA Duty Office at +65 6379 8800 / 8855 or email@example.com. Singaporeans who are in or visiting Bangkok are advised to register with the Singapore Embassy at http://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/. "