Locals answer call for help after deadly Bangkok blast

2015-08-17 20:01
(Mark Baker, AP)

(Mark Baker, AP)

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Bangkok - Khonnnon Jathrakul was nowhere near the city centre when the deadly Bangkok bombing occurred on Monday evening. 

But when the call came out that the hospitals were running low on blood for the injured, Khonnon knew he had to help. 

"It’s my duty to help, as a Thai, as a person." he said. "I have O blood type and it is useful."

Khonnon was not alone. Dozens of Thais found ways to reach both Chulalongkorn and Police General Hospital, where the victims were taken, despite roadblocks preventing vehicle access. 

While some chose to hike their way to the makeshift donation centres at the hospitals, others took mopeds, motorcycles and a plethora of smaller vehicles. 

Danat Preechit and several of his friends in the same bike club all reached the hospital after receiving word the hospital was low on blood while out on a joy ride.

After negotiations with a beleaguered police guard outside the hospital, Danat and his friends were finally let in to donate blood.

"It is time we showed the world the good side of Thailand," he said. "We're here to answer the call." 

Those that could not help by donating blood found other ways to contribute.

Boonsue Kritiyapakdee, a motorcycle taxi driver by profession, was offering free rides to anyone that needed to get back and forth to the hospital.

Others answered media calls that hospital staff were having trouble communicating with some of the Chinese victims. 

"I spent a semester abroad in China so I came to help translate," said Benyapawee Ngamtanakitja, a 19-year-old University student, who travelled over 20km to be at the Police General Hospital. 

"When I was in China, they took really great care of me so I feel responsible to help all the Chinese victims here," she said. 

Hospital staff say that within a few hours of their call for translators, they had received so many volunteers they were having to turn away many. 

Before she was asked to leave the hospital, Benyapawee added, "I feel sad because I want Thailand to be known as a friendly country. What happened was not the real Thailand." 

Read more on:    thailand

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