ISTANBUL: At least one person was killed and others were wounded on Sunday when an explosion rocked a busy pedestrian street in central Istanbul, sending people running from the fiery blast, according to the local governor and published videos.
Ambulances rushed to the scene on the packed Istiklal Avenue, which police quickly cordoned off. The area, in the city’s Beyoglu district, had been crowded as usual with shoppers, tourists and families, TRT and other media reported.
State-owned Anadolu agency said the cause of the blast was not yet known.
“There was a loss of life and injuries,” Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya said on Twitter, adding that the explosion occurred around 4.20 p.m. local time (1320 GMT).
A Reuters reporter saw a helicopter overhead and several ambulances in nearby Taksim Square.
The nearby Kasimpasa police station told Reuters all crews were at the scene but gave no further details. Local media said inspectors were on the scene. The Turkish Red Crescent said blood was being transferred to nearby hospitals.
Turkey’s RTUK regulator imposed a broadcast ban on coverage of the blast around an hour after it occurred.