BANGKOK — Military and police officers raided a firework shop in the Bangkok suburbs today after two college students were killed last night by homemade explosives reportedly bought there.
The two students were killed by “ping pong bombs” being transported under their motorcycle seat exploded on the way back from the store on Wednesday night, police said.
The driver was identified only as Teppitak, 17, a second-year student at Thongsuk College. He died at the scene, while his friend, 20-year-old Natthawut, was wounded in the blast and sent to Thon Buri 2 Hospital, where he later died of his injuries.
In a statement released to the media, police said a friend of Teppitak and Natthawut told officers the pair bought the bombs from a store in Nonthaburi’s Bang Ku Lat market, prompting security forces to raid the place. Police initially thought the two deceased bought explosives in Pathum Thani province.
Store owner Piyawan Lertrattanathewi, 50, was arrested on charges of selling fireworks without permission. The police statement said she confessed to the crime.
More than 5,000 pieces of fireworks were confiscated from the store, the statement added.
The deadly explosion took place on Phutthamonthon Sai 2 Road in Bangkok’s Thawi Wattana district at 10:30pm on Wednesday, the night of the Loy Krathong festival. Fireworks are commonly used to celebrate Loy Krathong.
All too frequent deaths and injuries mean authorities usually announce crackdowns on sales each year, to limited success.