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[SYDNEY] Australian rocker Jimmy Barnes revealed on Tuesday he narrowly escaped a bomb that exploded outside a religious shrine in Bangkok, with a last minute change of route likely saving his life.
Barnes, who as lead singer of Cold Chisel belts out songs such as Working Class Man and Khe Sanh, was in the Thai capital with his Thai-Australian wife and other family members, including his daughter and grandson.
They initially planned to walk past the streetside Erawan Shrine to a dinner venue but instead decided to use an overhead walkway as it would be easier with the pram they were pushing.
The bomb exploded on Monday barely 50m away as they were on the walkway, killing at least 21 people and injuring more than 120 others in an attack authorities said targeted foreigners.
"I had the pram with the grandson ... walking past the shrine would have been very difficult because it's a bumpy road. So I said to the kids 'follow me, I'll take you this other way'," Barnes told Australian Associated Press.
"We were literally walking between two buildings on the walkway when the bomb went off. It was just frightening." The Cold Chisel frontman, one of the most popular and best-selling Australian music artists of all time, added that: "I knew it was a bomb straight away."
Barnes is now trying to organise flights so his family can return to Australia as soon as possible.
"I was coming back to put out this record so it all sort of pales into insignificance really. I just want to get my family home in one piece," he said.
No Australians have so far been either confirmed dead or injured.