IT was a sombre homecoming for Neoh Ee Ling, who had arrived here on a holiday in a joyful mood but returned home under tragic circumstances.
The 33-year-old flew home with the remains of four family members killed in Monday's deadly bombing at the Erawan shrine.
She arrived at the airport at 5.45pm yesterday, accompanied by her sister Neoh Huey Shinn, brother-in-law Lee Tze Dung, uncle Lee Peng Hee and Malaysian ambassador Datuk Nazirah Hussain.
Ee Ling and her family members, who appeared calm, took off on a 7.25pm Thai Airways flight back to Penang from the Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
The embassy, said Nazirah, had already started making arrangements to fly the remains of the fifth victim - Lim Su See, who is still unaccounted for - back home.
"We are waiting for the police to officially confirm the DNA results but we were told verbally to start making preparations," she said.
Injured victim, Tan Rui Hun, was getting better and should be discharged soon, added Nazirah.
Tan, who was standing close to the source of the explosion, suffered injuries to his shoulder, arms and legs and had to undergo a five-hour operation at the Hua Chiew hospital to remove fragments from his body. He was among three Malaysians injured.
In the city, the Erawan shrine, which suffered moderate damage in the blast, has reopened to the public.
With many locals and foreigners still reeling from the shock, there were more members of the media than visitors at the shrine.
The Nation reported that many foreign tourists remained concerned about security in the city.
One tourist, John, who stopped to take a photo of the blast scene, said he understood that such an event could have taken place anywhere.
The New Zealander, who heads to Chiang Mai today, however intends to visit Thailand again.
"I like this country," he said.
Chinese tourist Vivian was among the few visitors to the shrine, who came to pay their respects to the victims.
"I feel shocked and sorry for the bloody attack here. Our family just arrived here from Chiang Mai, and we wanted to pay our respects to the victims," she said, adding that she and her family planned to travel to Phuket in the next few days.
Kumpa Yodsrimuang, a florist in front of the shrine, said her business was down 90% after the incident.
"I think the situation will recover in five or six months, as is usually the case after violence in the Ratchaprasong area, but until then my debts are going to increase," she said.
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