ISTANBUL — An explosion on Sunday shook a bustling pedestrian thoroughfare in central Istanbul, killing at least four people and leaving 38 wounded, the provincial governor said.
The governor, Ali Yerlikaya, in a post on Twitter, did not specify the cause of the blast, which happened about 4:20 p.m. local time.
The blast hit Istiklal Avenue, a short walk from Taksim Square and one of the city’s busiest areas for shopping, tourism and transit. A soccer game scheduled for later Sunday evening nearby may have brought even more people than usual to the area.
Videos shared on social media showed an orange fireball rising from the street and crowds of people panicking and rushing to flee the area. Other videos from the scene showed a number of badly wounded people on the ground, some of them covered in blood and not moving.
A TV reporter at the scene said he had seen at least five people wounded but walking, and at least four others lying on the ground.
Ambulances and fire trucks raced to the area, and a helicopter was spotted hovering overhead. The police cordoned off the area. Some stores nearby had closed their shutters immediately after the blast, but then reopened for people seeking shelter.
Carlotta Gall contributed reporting.