Bangkok blast: 'I thought it was kids playing with fireworks'

BANGKOK - It started off with a loud bang and ended with a sea of dead bodies, Malaysian tourist Tan Rui Hun said.

The 27-year-old was one of the many visitors to the Erawan Shrine in the Thai capital on Monday when a bomb on a motorcycle exploded, killing 22 people, including eight foreigners.

"From the corner of my left eye, I saw a spark, but thought it was just kids playing with fireworks. Suddenly, I noticed my eyesight getting blurry. It felt like blood which had spattered from others," Rui Hun said from his bed at the Hua Chiew hospital here yesterday.

Rui Hun, a businessman from Pasir Mas, Kelantan, was in Bangkok on holiday with his wife Teo Khaei Ling, 29, and his mother-in-law Tan Kim Siok, 50.

They had arrived here on Saturday and were supposed to have returned home yesterday.

"When I realised that it was actually an explosion, I rushed to search for my wife and mother-in-law," he added.

The family of three had visited the holy shrine located in the popular tourist district just a day earlier, but never expected that a "scary experience" like this would await them the second time around.

"After the explosion, I was injured and my wife helped me to the Grand Hyatt Hotel next door.

"I did not realise I had bad injuries to my arms and legs until the hotel staff helped to clean my wounds," said Rui Hun.

Although still very weak after undergoing a five-hour operation to remove blast fragments from his body, he was in good spirits and even managed a thumbs up for the cameras.

Teo, who was not very far from her husband when the blast occurred, said her ears were still ringing from the loud explosion.

"I still cannot hear properly, but I don't think it is anything serious. Theirs is more serious," she said, referring to her husband's and mother's injuries.

Kim Siok suffered slight wounds to her left temple and required three stitches.

She was some distance away from her daughter and son-in-law, but was still left shaken by the impact of the blast.

"I don't remember much as I'm still in shock. All I know was that I felt pain on my head," she said when met outside the operation theatre at the hospital.