Singapore-based actress Chris Tong was just a minute away when a bomb blast ripped through the popular Erawan shrine in central Bangkok on Monday evening. Tong was in the Thai capital for work-related matters.
On her close brush with death, the Malaysian told My Paper in an interview yesterday that she was preparing to leave the hotel for the shrine when the blast occurred.
Tong was staying at the Arnoma hotel located just a stone's throw away from the shrine.
Said Tong: "I was intending to leave the hotel at around 6 to 7pm to go to the shrine. My friends had just called me asking me to hurry up, but the moment I put down the phone, I heard the explosion. Just one minute later and I could have been there!"
The shaken actress said the hotel staff did not sound any warning. "After I got to the lobby, a lot of people were speaking to each other in Thai but I couldn't understand what was going on," said Tong.
After she got into a taxi, she witnessed the shocking aftermath of the blast. She said: "I saw a mess at the site, and what looked like torn-off limbs. I didn't know what it was at first, and didn't dare to look. I just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible."
After learning about the blast from the news, she followed the developments closely on TV.
Said the actress, who returned to Singapore on Tuesday night: "I went back to the shrine the day after the blast to pay my respects and also to see how was the situation like over there. I felt sad as that is a place I usually go to pray and it's suddenly the target of destruction."
Monday's attack left 20 people dead, including at least 11 foreigners, one of whom is a Singaporean. Thai police are still hunting for the bomb suspect.
See more images of Chris Tong in the gallery below.