A member of the bob squad in protective suit walks next to the body of a victim after an explosion near Erawan Shrine, central Bangkok, Thailand, 17 August 2015. An explosion in a busy commercial district in the Thai capital killed a yet unconfirmed number of people. Witnesses said the explosion happened around 7:15 pm (1215 GMT) at the Rajprasong Intersection, a business area famous among tourists and locals for a revered Hindu shrine.
A member of the bob squad in protective suit walks next to the body of a victim after an explosion near Erawan Shrine, central Bangkok, Thailand, 17 August 2015. An explosion in a busy commercial district in the Thai capital killed a yet unconfirmed number of people. Witnesses said the explosion happened around 7:15 pm (1215 GMT) at the Rajprasong Intersection, a business area famous among tourists and locals for a revered Hindu shrine. RUNGROJ YONGRIT

Bangkok blast hits home for local dance teacher

THE devastating bomb that killed more than 20 people near Bangkok's busy Erawan Shrine hit close to home for the Northern Rivers' Sue Whiteman whose dance studio, just 120m away, was shaken by the blast.

Ms Whiteman, who runs Alstonville Dance Studio, is a co-founder and instructor with Bangkok Dance which has 15 studios across Bangkok.

Three of the studios are in close proximity to the bomb blast which occurred during rush hour on Monday evening, Bangkok time.

Ms Whiteman said she first heard about the bomb blast when she received a phone call at about 3am Tuesday morning (AEST).

"I haven't been to sleep since," she said.

"I used to find that shrine a little bit of a sanctuary in a busy, polluted, traffic-jammed city."

The Alstonville dance teacher said a staff member in the dance studio closest to the blast was injured in the event.

The woman, who had stepped out to get snacks, was taken to hospital but is not in a critical condition.

"The whole studio was shaking," Ms Whiteman said. "Everyone could feel it. It was very distressing for everyone working there and rehearsing there at the time."

The Bangkok Dance studio in Chidlom Tower is diagonally opposite the Erawan Shrine, about 120m walking distance. The Maneeya building dance studio is only about 200m away and the dance studio at the Siam Paragon shopping complex is about a 750m walk.

In 2007, Ms Whiteman was just one stop down the train line from Bangkok's Victory Monument when a bomb exploded on New Year's Eve injuring at least 12 people.

But it wasn't enough to stop her travelling to Thailand about once a month for work.

"That particular place where I have the studio, (Chidlom) I've seen fire, flood, political demonstrations where I haven't been able to get to my own office," she said.

"There's been a lot of tragedy in the last 20 years around that area of Bangkok.

"I do feel there's going to be more suffering for every day Thai people. This will probably have a bad effect on tourism for Bangkok."

Ms Whiteman said she had booked her ticket to fly to Thailand on Saturday.


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