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Thailand’s capital has been rocked by it’s deadliest attack in recent memory, after a bomb blast killed 19 people and injured more than 120 others.
According to the most recent information available from the Department of Foreign affairs, no Australians have been counted among the casualties, but apparently rock icon Jimmy Barnes very nearly was.
As The Guardian reports, Barnesy was holidaying in Bangkok with his wife and family, and they were all heading out for dinner at the time of the explosion.
On a whim, they decided to bypass the would-be bomb site at the city’s Erawan Hindu shrine, and head to their destination, the Intercontinental Hotel, via an overhead walkway instead – a decision which very probably saved their lives.
“We were literally walking between two buildings on the walkway when the bomb went off,” The Cold Chisel frontman told AAP from his Bangkok hotel room. “And it was just frightening. I knew it was a bomb straight away.”
“We were going across the road to another hotel for a restaurant. We had two ways of doing it. I had the pram with the grandson with me and walking out the front and turning right and walking past the shrine would have been very difficult because it’s a bumpy road and trying to get across and all that kind of stuff,” he continued.
“So I said to the kids, ‘follow me, I’ll take you this other way’, so I took them this quiet roundabout way which ended up going up escalators and down elevators and across a walkway which goes above the road.”
In a terrifyingly close call, Barnesy says he and his fam almost walked “into the bomb” at one point, because they couldn’t find the right linking passageway to the Intercontinental.
“But I said I think it’s the next floor so I took them all in the elevator again to come down,” he said.
Barnesy also described the blood-curdling moment when the bomb went off, saying: “All the windows sort of went whoosh and bent from the blast and we quickly got across the walkway and we were inside the other section of this building.
“I could just look back and I could see the other walkways and people running away from where the blast was,” he continued.
“I walked up to the front of the hotel and looked down the street and I could see flames everywhere.”
Taking to Twitter shortly after the horrifying experience, Barnesy’s wife, Jane, tweeted: “We have been able to cross back to our hotel. Bombs diffused. Bodies still covered on road, terrible, so sad.”
The deadly attack has been blamed on rogue Thai forces seeking to destroy its tourist economy, with authorities reporting that the improvised explosive devise was clearly targeting foreigners in one of the city’s most popular hotel districts.
Australia has obviously condemned the attack, with DFAT currently working with Thai authorities to determine whether any Aussies have been hurt, although there have been no reports at this stage.
Our thoughts are with our Thai neighbours and every single person affected by this senseless act of violence.
— Jane Barnes (@jane13barnes) August 17, 2015
Our thoughts are with the people of Thailand and all those affected by the terrible bomb explosion in Bangkok
— Tanya Plibersek (@tanya_plibersek) August 17, 2015