Thai airports on alert after US bombings

By The Nation | Source: ANN

Security at Thailand’s major airports will be stepped up following the Boston Marathon bombings, according to a senior executive of Airports of Thailand (AOT).

Pongsak Semsant, caretaker president of AOT, said yesterday the latest violent incident in the United States prompted heightened security measures at the airports run by the company, including Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi and the Don Mueang, Chiang Mai and Phuket facilities.

He said executives of those airports had been instructed to increase their security measures around the clock.

Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt said yesterday he has ordered agencies to step up security at airports, bus terminals and railway stations.

No Thai nationals were affected by the Boston bombings, Foreign Ministry spokesman Manasvi Srisodapol said yesterday.

The Thai Consulate General in New York reported that no Thai nationals were killed or injured in the explosions in Boston, he said. The mission would also check with US authorities and the Thai expatriate community to confirm this, said Manasvi, who is director-general of the ministry’s Department of Information.

The spokesman said the ministry offered condolences to those affected and expressed hope that US authorities would be able to arrest those responsible soon.

A Thai graduate student in Boston, Polly Saipinthong, said such a violent attack was rare in Boston, which she described as a “very beautiful city”. She said she was among the people who were on hand to offer moral support to their favourite marathon runners, but left shortly after the elite competitors passed the finish line, before the blasts occurred.

In a related development, the Thai stock market was expected to see a decline when it reopens today following the long Songkran holiday. Many regional stock exchanges suffered a decline in prices yesterday following the Boston bombings.

An analyst said the violent incident in the US would be among negative factors driving down the Stock Exchange of Thailand Index. Other factors included China’s lower-than-expected economic growth.

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