At least 11 people are said to have been injured and many more were said to have died after an explosion near Taksim Square in Istanbul. Norwegian Bal Zaanstra Crooked was hundreds of meters from the explosion.
Several Turkish media reported, on Sunday afternoon, that the explosion occurred. Damage figures have not yet been confirmed.
The city’s mayor, Ali Yerlikaya, wrote on Twitter that there were supposed to be a number of wounded and dead after the explosion. The explosion was said to have occurred at around 16.20 local time.
Pictures and videos from the scene show chaotic conditions, with people lying in the streets. In some videos, a loud bang can be heard before people can be seen running from the scene. Other videos show that a large number of emergency services are at the scene.
Large Turkish police forces are present at the site and are evacuating the area for fear of more bombs. There are a large number of ambulances and other emergency vehicles in the area.
It is said that the explosion occurred on Istiklal Street, a popular pedestrian street near Taksim Square.
The cause of the explosion is not yet known. Several messages on social media suggest it was a suicide attack, but this has not been confirmed.
Taksim Square is an important center of Istanbul and a popular destination for tourists. Parades and other gatherings are often held here.
Pal Zaanstra Crooked and his fourteen-year-old son were 200 meters from the explosion in Istanbul.
“Obviously I’m thinking about what would have happened, if we had gone a little further,” he told VG.
Crooked and her son were sightseeing in central Istanbul when the bomb went off. When VG spoke to him, after a few minutes, they were safely in the apartment where they would live for a week. Sometimes sirens flood the conversation, he tells.
– He sees there’s a big explosion
– My son and I were on our way to Taksim Square. Then I feel the air pressure from the explosion. I look up and see that there is a huge explosion. I got into survival mode, I grabbed my son to take us to safety. Panic prevailed and people ran in all directions to the side streets. In situations like this, Crooked says, it’s important to stay calm, and to make sure you don’t get caught by all the people running.
He says they fled quickly as soon as he heard the explosion. Crooked says they will remain inside the apartment until they receive information from the State Department on how to handle the situation.
– I’ve already registered us on the State Department travel app, so they know we’re here and safe, and they can message us. He urges the importance of all the Norwegian residents here in Istanbul to do the same.
Usually working for the Department of Defense, Crooked is on a one-year round-the-world trip with his wife, Selji, and their three children.
Turkey is the fourth country we are in and we got here yesterday. We plan to stay here for a week. Istanbul is a big city and from what I see people behaving as usual. Unfortunately, the Turkish authorities have experience of this type of incident.
Turkey has seen several bomb attacks in recent years. Only in 2016 was that At least nine serious terrorist attacks in the country. In 2017, at least 11 people were injured and two were killed when one was injured A car bomb exploded in the city of IzmirAt the same time, three terrorists were attacked.
It has not been confirmed that today’s attack was terrorism.
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