TERRORISM
image

Bangkok shrine bombing

Bodies of two women killed in Bangkok bombing flown home to Hong Kong

Two Hongkongers injured in explosion at shrine are taken to hospital for further treatment

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 August, 2015, 9:29am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 August, 2015, 12:47pm

The bodies of the two young women killed in Monday's bombing in Bangkok arrived back in Hong Kong yesterday.

Family members were said to still be in a fragile emotional state, but the parents of Vivian Chan Wing-yan, 19, and Arcadia Pang Wan-chee, 24, had been receiving counselling from the Hospital Authority.

"Thanks to the counselling provided by staff members at the Hospital Authority, their emotional states were OK," said Tong Wing-yee, acting senior immigration officer for international cooperation, at Hong Kong International Airport after returning from Bangkok.

The women were killed with 18 others when a bomb exploded at the Erawan Shrine, a Hindu religious establishment in the centre of Bangkok and a popular attraction among East Asian tourists. More than 125 others - six of them Hong Kong residents - were injured.

READ MORE: Former Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra doubles the reward offered for capture of Bangkok bomber

Chan's father, businessman Allan Chan Sui-wah, thanked Thai authorities for doing their best to save his daughter, a British national who was studying law in the United Kingdom. He told the Bangkok Post earlier that he had been to Thailand several times and thought it would be safe for his daughter for holiday there.

"Before the bomb, she texted a message via WhatsApp to say she would be praying to Lord Brahma and would contact me later, but she did not," he said.

Vivian Chan was in Bangkok with Pang, celebrity hairdresser Ben Lee and his girlfriend.

Chan said he had taken the first available flight to Thailand with his wife, after Hong Kong officials informed him of his daughter’s death at 3am on Tuesday.

“[Thai officials and medical staff] took care of my daughter well. I saw signs they had operated on her body. They did their best,” he said.

More than 2,000 people had joined a Facebook tribute page in her honour this morning, writing their memories of the young Hongkonger.

His daughter's body and that of her 24-year-old friend, Pang, were onboard Thai Airways flight TG638, accompanied by Pang's parents who landed at the Chek Lap Kok Airport at about 5.30pm.

The parents were not seen at the arrival halls used by ordinary travellers.

Two other injured Hongkongers, Chu Yat-on, 62, and his wife Jaral Jintana, 60, also returned yesterday and were taken to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital in Chai Wan.

Dr Joe Leung Kai-shing, consultant in the accident and emergency department, said they were in a stable condition.

Chu, who has already undergone three operations, would need surgery on his leg and his wife would be admitted into the neurosurgery department "due to her pre-existing condition".

Tong said this left the number of Hongkongers remaining in Thailand after being caught up in the blast at three, including Jasmine Chu Sum-yu, 9.

"Two immigration officers and one staff member from the Hospital Authority have remained in Thailand to provide them with assistance," Tong said.

"She will need long-term physical therapy and psychological treatment," Leung said, adding she may be left with "serious post-traumatic stress disorder".

Jasmine's father, 61-year-old Chu King-fu, said her mood had picked up. "She knows she's progressed very well. She has been talking and laughing again."

The blast also killed 18 others, including five from mainland China, and injured 125 others.

Additional reporting by Ben Westcott and Shirley Zhao