BANGKOK — Less than 30 minutes after a bomb exploded Monday night at the Erawan Shrine, a man dropped a bag into the water next to a footbridge near Sathorn Pier that could have been the device which exploded harmlessly the next afternoon.
Twenty-six minutes after the first bomb went off, a security camera captured a man carrying a plastic bag onto the footbridge underneath Saphan Taksin at 7:21pm on Monday, less than 16 hours before an explosion in the water there sent a throng of people scrambling – but caused no injuries.
Police initially claimed someone threw it down from a bridge passing over the Chao Phraya River. As recently as Thursday, investigators were simulating such a cause by throwing bricks from Saphan Taksin down toward the footbridge, which connects to a pier on the river frequented by tourists.
Investigators on Thursday use a brick to simulate their theory Tuesday's blast came from a device thrown from Saphan Taksin.
Police spokesman Prawuth Thawornsiri said they haven't ruled that theory out yet.
“At this moment, I cannot yet confirm that the footage of Sathorn pier, which is claimed to capture the suspect, is indeed evidence," he said. "And let me remind you that any dissemination of evidence has to be formally approved by Royal Thai Police first.”
The video was posted to the CSI LA Facebook group, the administrator of which claimed it was furnished to him by police. It incudes what appears to be an official police timeline indicating the timecode indicated in the video is off by several minutes.
CSI LA is a community of amateur keyboard sleuths which came together in response to frustration over 2014’s Koh Tao murder investigations to crowdsource information.
Prime Minister gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha said yesterday the Sathorn and Erawan Shrine bombings were carried out by the same group of people.
“I think it’s a network. It’s connected – Erawan Shrine and Sathorn Bridge,” he said without elaborating. “They have their targets. I’d like to warn them to surrender themselves.”
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 awhile, appearing to speak into it for some moments. He puts the phone away, then appears to receive an incoming call.