Explosion shakes central Istanbul, gas leak suspected - governor

by Reuters
Monday, 17 February 2014 14:57 GMT

(Adds Istanbul governor, number of injured)

ISTANBUL, Feb 17 (Reuters) - An explosion thought to have been caused by a gas leak tore through a residential building near central Istanbul's Taksim Square on Monday, injuring several people and sending debris spewing into a narrow side street.

Windows in several multi-storey buildings were blown out and a car tipped onto its side by the force of the blast, which could be heard from across the Bosphorus Strait dividing the city of almost 15 million people.

"There has been an explosion on the ground floor of a building ... Initial findings suggest it was due to gas," Istanbul governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu said on Twitter.

Broadcaster CNN Turk said at least five people were injured in the explosion, two of them seriously. (Reporting by Ece Toksabay, Orhan Coskun and Humeyra Pamuk; Writing by Nick Tattersall; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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