‘The noise was huge’: Video captures moments before blast hit Turkey's Istanbul
The police officials cordoned off the area as helicopters were seen flying over the city centre amid sounds of siren in Istanbul. An eyewitness recalled that there was black smoke as the noise was deafening.
A deadly blast rocked the busy shopping street of Istiklal Avenue in Turkish capital Istanbul on Sunday, killing six people and injuring nearly 40. Videos and images circulating on social media showed panic-stricken pedestrians running from the blast spot as the police personnel rushed to control the situation.
One such video showing moments before the blast has gone viral. The video shared by a Twitter user named @AZgeopolitics shows a crowd of people walking on the busy street when they witness a loud explosion. Chaos strikes in as people begin to run away from the spot.
The police officials cordoned off the area as helicopters were seen flying over the city centre amid sounds of siren, AFP reported. An eyewitness recalled that there was black smoke as the noise was deafening.
However, the Turkish authorities have not revealed what caused the explosion. The police have established a large security cordon to prevent access to the damaged area due to fear of a second blast.
A large black crater was also visible in those images, as well as several bodies lying on the ground nearby.
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, Reuters reported.
"My condolences to those who lost their lives in the explosion on Istiklal Avenue," Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu said on Twitter.
Istiklal Street had already been hit in the past during a campaign of attacks in 2015-2016 that targeted Istanbul.
Claimed by the Islamic State group, those attacks killed nearly 500 people and injured more than 2,000.