While investigations into the Erawan Shrine blast that killed at least 20 people last Monday have made only little progress, CCTV footage has now surfaced showing a man carrying a heavy plastic bag onto a footbridge under Bangkok’s Taksin Bridge and dropping it in the water near the Sathorn pier. The footage was taken less than half an hour after the shrine blast.
A second explosive device, reportedly also a pipe bomb containing TNT, detonated harmlessly at the same location 16 hours later. No injuries were reported and initial reports claimed the device was thrown from a bridge Tuesday afternoon and meant to hit the crowded footbridge. Police assumed the bomb, however, missed the target and instead landed and exploded in the water.
It appears more likely now, however, that the second bomb was planted in the water shortly after the first blast, and that the two explosions were connected and the suspects in both cases may have collaborated.
Khaosod English reports:
In the footage, a man in a blue shirt wearing a messenger bag walks onto the footbridge carrying what appears to be a plastic bag of some weight. As foot traffic continues behind him over the busy bridge, he sets the bag down at its edge, pulls out his phone and uses it for a while, appearing to speak into it for some moments. He puts the phone away, then appears to receive an incoming call.
Nearly three minutes after loitering on the bridge, he retrieves the bag, moves closer to the center of the bridge and sets it down again. While gazing out over the Chao Phraya River, he subtly nudges it over the side and into the water with his foot, then immediate leaves the bridge from the way he came.
More CCTV footage has been released showing what appears to be the same Asian-looking man shortly before he dropped the bag in the water. As he is carrying the heavy plastic bag, he is seen using his phablet style smartphone most of the time.
About 11 minutes before stepping onto the bridge, he was walking south on the west side of Sathorn Road toward the river and pier, if the time code shown in the video is accurate.
He’s walking from the same direction as a neighborhood where motorcycle taxi drivers said they gave rides to a man several times between December and February who [has emerged as the key suspect in the Erawan Shrine blast].
The Bangkok Post adds that
About three to four minutes before Tuesday’s blast, another man wearing a blue tartan long-sleeve shirt, black pants and a shoulder bag was seen approaching the same spot [on the footbridge where the bag had been dropped into the water the previous night]. He appeared to take photos at the scene alone and left moments before the explosion took place.