Phimolchai market remains quiet today after motorcycle bomb

An eerie silence remains at the Phimolchai market or known as railway market today (Jan 23) after yesterday blast that killed three persons and injured 18 others.

Despite of heightened security, some vendors did not come to sell their products at the market for fear of their lives because of the extensive damage and emotional shock to the occupants of the market.

Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paochinda said security had earlier forbidden motorcycles to enter and park at the market but local people disagreed citing inconvenience as main reason.

Besides they also disagreed with traffic roadblocks reasoning it caused traffic jams, he said.

However security officials today rearranged traffic plan at the market, allowing only one exit and entry to the market for security reason.

After the incident, Fourth Army Region commander Lt Gen Piyawat Nakwanich visited the scene and apologized to residents for allowing such a shocking incident to happen.

He stated that the reason behind the bombing was to disrupt trade and commerce.

He said that he would meet with all merchants at the market to get their feedback so that new security arrangements can be made to restore their confidence.

The commander said most of the markets being looked after by security officials have been free of violent incidents.

But Phimolchai market operator never approached security officials to arrange for security, he said.

“This is a major oversight that we will be addressing,” he said.

He condemned the act and believed that the perpetrator was not connected to insurgent groups but was criminal working for influential figures.

Police said they have secured a video footage of the perpetrator and are tracking his escape routes.

Meanwhile, eyewitnesses at the market said they saw a man rode a motorcycle and parked it in front of the pork butchers stall owned of Nareerat Saetang.

Ms Nareerat told the man to move his bike but the man showed disinterest and walked away.

Ms Nareerat decided to move the motorcycle herself and the vehicle blew up, killing her instantly.  The impact of the bomb also killed Mayakee Waenawae, a meatball seller who was riding past when the bomb went off.

The blast damaged a section of the roof of the market along with more than 20 stalls. More than 10 motorcycles located nearby were also damaged.

Ms Supreeda Jennaruemit who owns a stall opposite the butcher stall was severely injured and later died, bringing the death toll to 3.

The blast injured 18 other people.